Reflecting back, I remember making "that call". You know that call to tell your dad you're pregnant! This was the first "that call" I had to make. That all too familiar, "I'm too young to be a grandpa!" Well, that was one of his responses. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't think he had too terribly much to say. He was unsure to say the least. He could have been thinking about my age... I was 20 when I got pregnant with Angelina.
Let's fast forward to the day that Angelina was born... hmmm. I think those fleeting thoughts of being too young to be a grandpa were gone. In fact, I know they were! Seeing my dad holding Angelina when she was a mere 5 minutes old was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen! All my dad's fear and anxiety melted away at the very moment he locked eyes with Angelina Skye Benner. My dad did not need anymore reassurances, he was officially a grandpa, and LOVING it! To say that my dad loves being a "papa" would be right on! I think he loves it more than even I will ever know!
Mike and I weren't planning on having anymore children. Just Angelina. Imagine our surprise in April 2006 when I found out I was pregnant again! :) How exciting!
This was my dad's chance! He was going to be a Papa again! How thrilling! Yet another baby to leave a footprint on his heart. My dad wasn't as scared this time. He was excited, and secretly hoped he would get another granddaughter. When my dad is really happy about something he gets this smile on his face that won't go away. I have really only seen it a few times, and most of them with my children. He had that smile when we found out we were having another girl! Another girl to wrap papa around her finger.
My dad was pretty involved this time around. Basically, he wasn't terrified, and didn't need time to adjust to the news. :) I think one of the funniest times in my pregnancy was when Mike and I were trying to decide what to name our baby girl. Mike wanted to name her Josephine. ha ha! If only I had a tape recorder of my dad's reaction to that name! Poor Mike! He got ragged for weeks. Not only by my dad, but everyone else too! Needless to say, we decided on Zoe, and my dad was MORE than fine with that. Her middle name was the easy part.... Rae after Mike's grandmother's middle name. In picking Zoe's name, we didn't realize how perfect her name would actually be! Zoe is Greek, and the meaning of Zoe is "LIFE"!
When my dad's birthday came around... 10/16/06, Zoe decided she wanted to come out and see him... even though she wasn't supposed to be here for 10 more weeks! My dad was very concerned, but assured me on the phone everything was going to be OK.
Now, let me tell you... seeing my dad hold Zoe for the first time was yet another amazing moment in my life. My dad is very tender hearted, and I remember seeing the concern in his eyes as he held his 3 pound granddaughter. When he first went into the Intensive Care Nursery, I wasn't prepared for his reaction. He smiled at me, then at Zoe, and tears began rolling down his face. I could hardly hold my composure!
To this day, there are times that I watch my dad with my girls, and I get teary eyed, or if I think about that day in the Intensive Care Nursery and when Angelina was born. I have to fight back those tears. It's hard to put into words how amazing my dad is. I love him very much!
To say I have the most amazing dad would be true, but to say that I have the best most incredible amazing dad is even better. My kids are so lucky! I am so lucky! I never dreamed I would see the amount of love my dad has for those 2 girls! He is so taken with Angelina, as well as Zoe. I just know that he is excitedly waiting for the day Zoe and Angelina both yell, "PAPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and run to tackle him and hug his neck! I know they will do this. I know this because he is a Loving Papa.