Hazey adores her dad. It isn't hard for me to understand--I adore him too. But her adoration hasn't come without a fight. And a hard-fought fight at that.
Hazel doesn't just give away smiles like her brother Julian. She keeps them. Then when you've proved yourself worthy, she'll award you one. Or two.
Jed is not a gushy baby lover. He'll never ask to hold your baby at church and he has nightmares about being called into the nursery. So, Hazel's stubbornness and Jed's non-cheesiness made for a difficult match. In her baby days she wouldn't give him a chance. If you weren't putting in all your time with her, she wasn't about to give you any of hers.
Then one day, Jed graduated from BYU, and in so doing, lost BYU employment. I'd just had Parley, and Jed was now searching for a new job. I look back on that experience as a very difficult one, but Jed and I both agree we'd never change it. Being home after I'd just had a new baby gave him the opportunity to be Hazel's best friend. It wasn't easy or fast, but it came.
She has inherited his artistic talent and spends great amounts of time drawing and coloring. She is also an out-of-control perfectionist like he is too. (But she's also an emotional basket-case like me). So yesterday I came into the living room and she'd drawn the most darling picture I'd ever seen (pictured above). A couple of minutes later, she showed up in the kitchen, a shy smile on her face, presenting it to Jed: Hazey to Dad. Looking at it brought me to tears.
Later that night I was writing in my journal and I flipped back a couple of pages and found this:
She found my journal and wrote about loving her dad.
I can't tell you how happy that makes me. This is the way life should be.
Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.