Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Bag of Grapes

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As we were leaving my parents' house last night my Dad handed me a bag of grapes. To most people it would be just that- a bag of grapes- but to me it was (and always is) so much more. To understand that is to understand my father, and to understand that his way of saying "I love you," is often in the doing of things. It's in him standing at the counter for 10 minutes, sorting through the big Costco-sized container, plucking grapes from their stem, washing them, and putting only the very best into a little ziploc bag, so I can enjoy them on the drive home. It's making sure there are always fresh towels, fresh sheets, fresh everything when we come to visit. It's me reverting back to being 16-years-old whenever I'm there on the couch asking for this and that, and him humoring his totally grown daughter who is a Real Adult and wife and mother of her own now, bringing sandwiches and cold drinks and making sure my seat is as reclined back as it will go, because of course, I need to relax. It's in the way my Dad would always wash my car but not just wash it, vacuum and wax it, shine it and buff it, make it as good as new, all shine and sparkle. It's his cutting and clipping of any and all newspaper articles relevant to my life, the calls with traffic updates whenever I'm driving, the "be carefuls" and the "call when you get theres," and the coffee he will leave for Hank on the counter to find when he wakes up.

This is my Dad. He is vocal with his love but more than anything, his love is in his actions. And now as an adult I see this more than ever. Becoming a parent after being parented your entire life is a funny thing when you think about it. You have these models of what to do (or maybe what not to do), how to do it, what being a parent looks like, and then there you are, doing it yourself.

And last night as we drove and I finished off that little bag of grapes from my Dad, I thought a lot about the parent I am and the parent I want to be. I thought of Henry and Charlie, grown up one day, looking back at me as a Mama- at the things I did and the way I loved them. And oh, how I wish for them to look back at their childhood and just feel happiness. And so all of the little things in our little days, the way I cut the crust off Henry's sandwiches just the way he likes, the happy, sunshiney, good morning song for Charlie, the way we open the curtains with gusto as we get ready each day, the way I always make sure Henry's animals are back in their "home" every night- they're all part of something bigger. Little actions, big love. Teddy bears back on the special shelf, storytime tuck-ins every evening, and maybe even bags of grapes in the car one day too...I look forward to all of these things rolling into the larger story of the way my love feels to them.

51 comments:

  1. That is so sweet!! For one, what a nice family story and also a great idea to carry forward to the future... little actions of love. This entry totally made me smile today - thank you.
    Michelle from PermanentDaydream.com

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  2. This one made me teary, my stepdad was the same way and I miss these little things the most. My world was forever changed by this kind of love :) Thank you for this post, while it did make me teary and remind me of my loss, it also reminded me of the greatness as well and makes me smile too <3

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  3. This is a beautiful post. It really is the little things that make family bonds so so special, moments like these that will stay with us forever.

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  4. I love this post:) So sweet and so true about how a parent's actions really shows their love:)

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  5. i loved this so much and it kind of reminded me of my dad which made it even cuter!! :)
    Lauren
    1sweetfairytale.blogspot.com

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  6. My father is the same - he shows his love not through words but through the little things he does. Such a touching post. Thanks for sharing. I'm gonna call my dad now...
    Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog -Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Chic Style

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  7. Such a sweet glimpse into your life and family. <3

    The Rambling Fangirl

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  8. "Little actions, big love."

    I am going to remember this forever. My husband and I are preparing to start our own little family, and this post made me cry with happiness. Thank you.

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  9. This is beautiful. One day, should I become a parent, I will strive for this as well.

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  10. I teared up reading about your father. My father is very similar in that his love is often communicated through his actions and doing of things versus vocalization. I'm twenty and just now starting to fully appreciate this and the type of person my father is. I had a very similar 'bag of grapes' moment when I left to go back to college yesterday. My father works nights at a grocery store and in the morning before I went back he returned home with a full sack of my favorite Lara Bars "for the road and just to have in case." He always stocks up on extra things for me - the makeup wipes I use or the razorblades I prefer (small things like that) before I get home so that I can take them back with me. Also, a few nights before I left I called him and asked him if we had a specific movie at home that I thought we owned, but couldn't seem to find. We ended up not having it, but the next morning he came home with the DVD in tow. My father does these things, but prefers to not make a big deal about them. He is my favorite person in the world for many reasons besides that. I just wanted to say how much I could relate and to thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

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  11. This is a very special post. It completely reminds me of my dad. No matter how old I get I will always be daddy's little girl.

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  12. Wow!! I don't have much in common with you - I'm much older than you, I'm divorced, no children and I live on the east coast (Massachusetts). But - I love to read your blog!! I've never commented before but I really appreciated todays post and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I love my dad and from your words today I can see that you love your dad to!

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  13. This post made me tear up! You are very, very blessed.

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  14. Best post of the new year. You are an honest, real writer, and this post speaks volumes of the truest love in the world. Beautiful!

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  15. Thank you for sharing! This post made me think of my dad and his ways. So sweet.

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  16. this is so my dad. wish I could share this. ;) nice post.

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  17. I too teared up over this post. I lost my dad 16 years ago suddenly and miss him every day. You have a knack Dani in the way you tell your stories that always move me.
    I would love to meet your dad as he sounds like a gorgeous man.

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  18. This is so sweet. It made me realise the things which my parents do for me every day too :)

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  19. Your parents sound awesome... you're so lucky to come from a family like that! Never take it for granted :)

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  20. Your posts bring a smile to my face every morning... Thank you for that!


    PS: your dad sounds awesome :) Blessings from Venezuela!!! ♥

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  21. Your dad sounds like a sweetheart.

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  22. So good, Danielle! This is why I read your blog. I love that you notice things like this and share them with us. Oh, and your perfectly adorable children help, too! ;) Hope you're having a great week.

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  23. Such a beautiful post, we need to appreciate the smallest gestures :)

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  24. Loved loved loved this post! What a sweet dad. My dad is a man of few words and his love language is providing, I guess. When we were growing up, he worked really hard to provide, and he is not the kind of dad that demonstrate love, say I love you or hug you, but that's ok. It's just the way he is. But since I got married, he's changed in this aspect. He brings me my favorite bread when he goes to the bakery, he planted a lot of roses in my garden and takes care of them because se thinks they are my favorite flowers (they're not, but I love them because of what they mean) and he has even hugged me and told me he loves me a couple of times. It's been so nice to see him open up to feelings, specially with a grand kid on the way :)

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  25. What an incredibly beautiful and sweet post! I've never known a love like that because I've never had amazing parents like yours. But it's refreshing to know that they do exist. And not only that but you seem to be following them in becoming a wonderful parent yourself. You all are so lucky to have such a wonderful family. It's such a shame that not everyone does.

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  26. oh my word this made me choke up! I've always been a daddy's girl and now that I'm married and so far from him I miss him so much. Thank you for the word picture of your sweet dad. What a treasure!

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  27. I love this post, Dani. I can't really say much more than that :)

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  28. This is so sweet. Have you shared this post with your dad? I'm sure he would really appreciate it.

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  29. This is so sweet! I think of that often too, what my child's memories will be. I hope so much that my love for him is shown in my actions like your dad's! Thank you for sharing!

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  30. What a sweet way to show love :) Your dad sounds awesome !

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  31. This post is beautiful and I'm sure your boys will look back with fond memories, much like you do! I'm glad that you shared this as it made me appreciate (once again) all the little things my family has done for me over the years!

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  32. The older I get the more you realize how much all of those little things meant. I only can dream of being as thoughtful and hard working of a parent as mine were!

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  33. Makes me want to cry. Reminds me so much of my dad. Its such a simple reminder to be direct in love with our family and those around us. I want to be that kind of mother to my children. Thorough and intentional.

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  34. Tears! Tears! Tears! What a beautifully written post. Thank you for this. I lost my father 4 years ago and this just made me feel so fuzzy and reminded me of all the awesome things my Dad did for me. My son (5 years old) may not know him but that doesn't mean he wont get to feel him through me.

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  35. Awww my mom does the exact same thing! It reminds me of my dad who I lost a few years ago but it is such a heartwarming post :)

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  36. Such a sweet story! A parents love it unmatched

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  37. That made me tear up a little. Love posts like this.

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  38. this was written so well, i loved reading it. makes me think about how i parent wesley and how i want to do all those little things for him. a love for a child is the craziest thing!

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  39. Hey Danielle, I haven't been around the blog world in awhile, so excited to see your family has expanded. :) Congratulations!!!!

    This blog definitely hit home. Reminds me of my Daddy. He is the exact same way. A beautiful way to show love.

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  41. Such beautiful words, Danielle! I'm awfully sensitive this morning and reading this post was a great way to start my day. You sure seem like a great mom, the boys will have wonderful memories. Hope you'll always have so much love in your life.

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  42. I'm currently pregnant with our first, a little boy, due next month (but I'm thinking sooner!!) and this post just really hit a spot in me. It made me so excited to have this little boy and do for him all the things my parents did for me. I find myself telling my husband numerous times a week about how I want to take River (our soon to be son) to this place or that because we took epic road trips with our pop up camper or in my grandparents motorhome when I was growing up and have his first "real" food be what mine was (yaki soba) because it is still my favorite food, and how I always want him to have a pet because I haven't not had one for 24 years and I know it helped shape me into the person I am today. And just knowing how much I love and appreciate those things make me so excited to know that some day our son will probably be having the same conversations with his partner about what he wants to share from his childhood. It amazing how special certain times and things become but when they're happening, we're totally unaware of their impact and significance. Thank you for such a lovely post and making me even more excited to become a mother!

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  43. danielle, this brought tears to my face. you wrote about your father so beautifully and it makes me think about my own father ~ this post may just be my very favorite. you will always be his little girl. sending you light and love today xo

    love, kerrie

    www.moonologie.com

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  44. I cried - like a big, dumb girl. Beautiful <3

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  46. Oh, this makes me smile :-) We have the spaghetti-wednesday-evening-tradition :-) Especially now that the children moved out of the house. Love those moments!

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  47. This is so lovely. What a wonderful father you have. I'm sure your little ones will have a million special things that will make them feel their mama's love no matter how old or far away they are. Your words are so beautiful, and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing

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