days that build me…

I went with them yesterday, ‘them’ being the three females in my life. Two of them, my daughters, needed swimsuits because, well, its summer. The third of ‘them’, also known as their mother, had warned me: you know they want buhkeeknees, right? I said I had heard that word several times of late but had always tried to change the subject. For example – 

Daughter: Dad, I really really want a buhkeeknee.

Me: Sweet-girl, have you finished reading Rob Bell’s book yet?

Anyway, I went along yesterday, I felt it needed to be a father’s day on some level. So I stood in a store called Justice and leaned against a waiting-wall while three video screens assaulted my senses with some little tweener-boy trying to sing ‘Broken Hallelujah.’ I kid you not. As the poor kid butchered a classic I eyed my girls’ feet below the 3/4 dressing room door, feet I know well, toes I’ve counted, this little piggy and stuff like that. Their not-so-little-anymore feet skittered around accompanied by growing-girl giggles…broken hallelujahs to my heart.

I don’t know about a hell, but I do believe in God because somehow my daughters’ eyes were earlier drawn to that known as the tankeeknee. Now I’ve nothing against buhkeeknees, I’m rather fond of them in fact. But when you’re a dad that fondness is tempered by that fact that you’re a male and you know how fond males of any age are of girls sitting on chaise loungers in their bra and panties. I needed something for these middle-dad days I’m in and that meant something to cover their-middle…voila, enter the tankeeknee.

I stood up straight as I saw the dressing room door open. Two visions stepped forward to get my approval: whaddaya think, dad? If they only knew what I thought…if they only knew my thrill at seeing their ear-wide grins, a thrill coupled with an extreme difficulty to breathe, sorta like my saddle shifting right underneath me. If they only knew how excited I am for the summer days they have ahead of them, while I so long for those seasoned days when they let me wash their hair. What do I think? Well, I like ’em. Let’s get ’em. And so we did.

Yesterday was a day that built me, my daughters’ father, just a little more. I may make it after all. The gentle irony was our experience took place in a store called Justice. Any man worth his salt knows fathers are built by one thing and one thing only – mercy.

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  1. Winn Collier on June 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Mercy, mercy.

  2. Jim Wok on June 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Ok, OK, I’ll show my ignorance. I asked my wife, I google it and I still am in the dark about what the heck is a buhkeeknee…. en †heos…jim

  3. thebeautifuldue on June 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Jim, our roots are southern and when folks from the south say ‘bikini’ it sounds like buhkeeknee…

  4. Jim Wok on June 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Duh…..I have been reading too many African/India stories. Heck, I am from the South and was trying way too hard to put a different pronunciation to it. I will be a fix’n to go sit n the corner with a road pylon (Texan for Dunce cap) on my head.LOL and out…….en †heos….jim

  5. Neil on June 9, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Mercy and fatherhood; fatherhood and mercy……..ah yes!!!!!!!!!!! THE FATHER. Grace and peace and mercy on us all. AND Happy Father’s Day John!

    Neil

  6. thebeautifuldue on June 9, 2011 at 3:15 am

    And to you as well, Neil…thanks for stopping by…

  7. Sethhaines on June 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Three sons and one on the way. Somehow, I’m a little thankful right now. I’ve a young heart, but I’m not sure I could take it.

    • thebeautifuldue on June 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Seth, beneath the gender specific rocks a river runs through it all…the waters of mercy. Grace for you and your increasing quiver.

  8. Lane on June 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    This makes me recall the sermon from days gone by that called out the dads who allowed their tween and teenaged daughters to wear clothing with words plastered across their posteriors. With a seven year old daughter in tow these days, I’m bracing for the waves that will soon be crashing against my ship.

    • thebeautifuldue on June 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      Definitely some riptides to navigate, Lane…but I bet you’ll do fine, just fine…hope all is well with you and yours.

  9. Jamie the Very Worst Missionary on June 10, 2011 at 1:33 am

    i wish i had had a father like you.

    • thebeautifuldue on June 10, 2011 at 2:38 am

      Thanks, Jamie…I wish I’d had a sister like you.

  10. Susie Finkbeiner on June 10, 2011 at 1:44 am

    My little girlie is almost 5. Oh, mercy. Thanks for reminding me to cherish every single day.

    Beautiful!

    • thebeautifuldue on June 10, 2011 at 2:40 am

      Drink in every minute you can, Susie…it goes too, too fast.

  11. Larry Shallenberger on June 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    After your shopping trip with your son, I trust you held the bathing suits up to a dark light to check for hidden messages.

  12. Suz on June 18, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Oh Mr. John Blase, I love the words you clothe life in.

  13. gretchen on June 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    What Suz said. God sure has healed a lot of father-daughter hurts through seeing the relationship between my children and their father. He doesn’t use the same words you use, but the protection, wistfulness, and boundless love is identical.

  14. days that build me | Story Bleed Magazine on June 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

    […] John’s original post and comments at the beautiful due and click around where you’ll find beautiful prose and poetry.  Want more?  Follow him […]

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