Monday, June 18, 2007
This is one of my favorite young pictures of my dad before he was my dad. He left Greece at 17 in search of a better education, he married my mother here because he found love, and he stayed here to give his children the best life possible. And it has been the best life possible. No one on this earth exceeds my dad in compassion, generosity or self-reliance.
I've received too many gifts from him to name, but my most cherished gift is his artistry that showed up in my genes. He didn't choose to pursue an artistic career because he couldn't assure the well-being of our family with that. But he secured a world for me where I could choose that, or anything else.
The best choice I ever made was marrying the amazing father of my children. I had never met a college guy so nuts for babies. We would be on a date and he'd point out a cute baby at the next table. He changed Juliana's diapers for the first several days before I had it all figured out. Completely different kind of approach to fatherhood than my own dad, but equally loving. Whether it was bottle-feeding Juliana in the middle of the night to give me a break during my first trying days of motherhood, or helping the boys perfect their cannonballs off the diving board as he has been for more than a week now, we just can't do without him.
When a father takes pleasure in helping his children, whether monetarily, emotionally or in learning how to have fun, it's truly a blessing. And just like the motherly traits that seem to rub off on our girls, we see our boys taking pleasure in caring for their families too. Lucky us.
Anna Maria, daughter of Eleftherios Demacopoulos