Putting the ‘Big’ into Big Papa
Big Papa got his nom de plume at work. Though he stands at 6’1”, Big Papa isn’t big as in tall like an NBA player. And, after years of walking to and from work, Big Papa isn’t big in an XXL sort of way either. His name came from the fact that he was one of the…er…more mature guys in his work group (software engineers are a young bunch). I also like to think, after working for than a decade at the same company, he’s earned a modicum of deference from his peers.
When I began my blog and was searching for a pseudonym, Big Papa certainly fit the bill. Of course I never thought it would take nearly four years before he’d fully acquire this title on the home front.
During the years while we waited to adopt, and even before, I saw plenty of signs that Big Papa would knock it out of the park as a Dad. We laugh about it now, but the first indicator was his ability to change a diaper mid-flight. Granted, the diaper was on my paralyzed father, whom we were moving across country. In the midst of a situation I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I knew right then and there Big Papa would rise to even the most harrowing of challenges as a dad.
Big Papa jokes that he mostly uses tools and lumber to build contraptions to house his tools and lumber. But in the years we’ve been together, I’ve seen him assemble even the most convoluted of IKEA furniture. He constructed our four garden beds and bricked the patio in our back yard, dug drainage trenches, and installed crown molding in our 114-year-old house. And, he’s spent countless hours, helping out his less-than-tech-savvy wife with how to do this thing on my computer or that thing with my camera. When his daughter asks, “Daddy, how do you…?” I feel confident he’s the kind of guy who will figure it out.
Some of the other reasons why Big Papa is going to be a great dad are his ability to be patient and persevere. Over the past few years we’ve endured plenty, between our adoption drama, moving parents (two), deaths (my beloved cat, dear friend Dee and my father), illness (my sister’s cancer, his mother’s Alzheimer’s and countless fiascos when my father was alive), along with all the stress and heartache that has visited our home and marriage as a result. Through it all, Big Papa has stuck by me and helped us see it through together.
In my book, Big Papa is big because he has my utmost respect for being the kind of person he is. I know I can count on him—and his daughter will be able to count on him—when the chips are down (and, man, have they been really down at times). I know he is honest and hardworking and tries to do right by others. And I know that he is the kind of man who will encourage our daughter find her way in the world, and help her grow into a woman people will look up to…even if she’s not tall, because she’ll be big in the same ways Big Papa is big.
Happy Father’s Day, Big Papa! I know (as your co-worker A. so aptly said) that accepting a compliment isn’t one of your stellar traits, but you sure deserve kudos on this day. It may appear to be your first Dad’s Day, but you’ve been walking the walk for a long time coming.9 comments