Savoring the Joys of Fatherhood

My readers know, though many are comfortable living on “the stage” via social media i.e. everyone knowing everything you feel and do…..I’m not. I’ve seldom included references to my family as they are my special treasure and I seldom share them. Much like people in public service who restrict media coverage of their kids, I hope through the years, that privacy I’ve maintained also protects them from people who approach them with “I know all about you from what your Dad posts on Facebook.” Creepy.

However, the approach of Father’s Day this weekend bodes nostalgic for me. Mrs. Nolte and I are blessed to have both our fathers still alive but it’s the reality of being a father that tugs at my heart on this holiday.

All of their lives, the Nolte girls have been told “how lucky you are to have a father who is a wedding planner and owns a bridal salon.” Lord, but I hope they feel that way….I’ve missed nearly every Saturday of their lives because of that “luckiness.”

I’ve never subscribed to the theory of “When they turn 18, you’ll be glad to see them go.” My longing is to have them all back! I enjoy Father/Daughter Dates with them, dancing with them, vacationing with them, helping them, comforting them, advising them, remembering with them, simply being with them.

This is one of my favorite pictures taken on a Father’s Day many years ago (with what was then our “pet dog.”) My I introduce to you, “My Rainbow of Daughters.”

Father's Day Blog Picture

 

Emma-Lea (blonde) is now essentially running Nolte’s Bridal as the VP of Operations. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Saint Louis University, I am so fortunate to have her expertise in running the daily grind behind the “fancy front” of bridal. She lives the high life (top floor of a very nice apartment complex) and is the curator of the family’s real dogs, Tilly and Beau (Bichon sibs.) She loves being in Junior League. She will be the one to inherit either “the throne or the thorn.” (Depends on the day how it’s perceived! J ) Being the History major she is and a lover of all things English, I am looking forward to taking her to London for her birthday in September.

Justine (red head) was the family’s first bride April 2015. She has knighted a really incredible man to bring into our family (co-incidentally also named Michael). After their wedding (detailed earlier in blogs), they bought a gourmet dog and a house in that order…all within months. With degrees in Journalism and Marketing from Ole Miss, she is on track to run AMC theatre digital marketing. (I’m sure the folks at AMC don’t know this yet…only her father.) Though my role as advisor has been reduced to consultant…I get tapped occasionally to help brainstorm about the house renovation they are doing.

Caroline (brunette) lives in Dallas and has been presented the most times (three) as a debutante and now has been invited into The Slipper Society there. (I think the rosters are filled with Texas girls that have all been in similar slippers and their bows were the famous “Texas Dip.”) She works as the Assistant to the Head Fred Event Planner for the Remington chain of hotels. Lots, lots, lots of hours…but she’s used to seeing her father do that all her life. Her degree in Journalism and Integrated Studies, also from Hotty Totty land, has prepared her well with all the communication skills required to flit all over the country setting up events. We have a “Dolly Date” when she comes to Sprint next month. Can’t wait!

So there you have it. As I call my home “Our Nest,” these are my three chicks. Their feathers tickle this Father and that’s why I love having them close.

Nolte Family Picture for Blog

I’ve stood in the back of hundreds of darkened churches through the years, adjusting bow-ties and boutonnieres, re-positioning bouquets, fluffing veils and trains and quietly stepping back before the doors swing open. I am in hallowed space as I witness that Father and his daughter savoring the moment that man “dreaded” since the day she was born. Time is suspended and often there are tears in both sets of eyes.

She says, “Dad remember to hold me tight as we walk down the aisle.” He replies, “Honey, it won’t be the holding tight part that will be a problem….it will be the letting go.”

 

Justine and Dad Walking in vestibule

 

God bless all Dads this weekend…especially those of daughters!  I’m certainly proud of mine and so lucky be loved by them as they do.  MJN