My daughter is a nut for her daddy. She is always coming up with new names for him. First it was papi, then dad (Robots), daddy, father (after watching Bambie), daddy lion and finally, Mufasa (guess where she got that idea…lol). She claims that she is really “baby Simba” and asks us to call her by that name instead of her own, at times. She often calls her daddy “Mufasa” and calls me “Sarabi”. We’re a pride of lions most days and we’re all snuggle bugs, so it fits. :) When it comes down to it, we’re a very close-nit family, and so, my daughter has a special relationship with her daddy. She recites her favorite lines from the Lion King, like “Nobody messes with my dad” and roars like a little lion. She frequently has roaring contests with her papi and wrestles with him like Mufasa and Simba do in the movie. I love watching her compare all of the other father/child roles that she sees to her and her daddy.
It’s all the more important to me because there was a period of time I can remember when my husband could not be with us. A little over a year ago, my husband had to travel out of state to find work. It was most definitely a difficult couple of months for all of us. There were sleepless nights, and of course tears, not wanting to hang up the phone and worrying about whether he was safe or not, but we made it through. Lily would call him every day and leave silly messages with all her new words that she had learned. She would roll her finger up and down her trompitas, making daddy’s favorite silly noise and wondering when he would come home. What she didn’t know though, is that he wouldn’t be coming back, we would be driving halfway across the country to meet him. In the middle of the winter and perhaps the most desperate trip of our lives, I tucked her into her little car seat and we set off to meet him on a 12 hour drive, far from home. Just me and my little princess in the cold, cold snow. It wasn’t an easy trip and there were times that we were scared and had family praying for us during journey. But we weren’t about to wait until the snow was gone though. As an experienced Michigan driver, I knew we could take on any weather! Anyway, papi needed us. Up until the day he found our house, he had been living in a homeless shelter, that’s how desperate things got, but luckily we were able to stay at home in Michigan with my family until he was settled in.
When we arrived, it was a strange, but happy reunion. I felt kind of unsure about whether to hug and kiss him, and Lily looked unsure of whether that really was her dad looking back at us. We’d met up at a local supermarket, since I didn’t know any of the streets or how to find our house. He held my hand, kissed me and buckled our daughter into her seat. We sat in the front seat for a few minutes, just talking and staring at each other. It was surreal, but once we arrived home, everything clicked. We were finally able to breathe and relax in each others company. Hubby rolled on the floor with Lily, tickling her and all was normal again. We were home and Lily had her Mufasa back. We got to rescue him that day and shower him with all the love and attention that he’d missed out on over those months. I think that being apart from him for a while has helped us to appreciate how important he is to our family. We need our Mufasa and all of his valuable hugs and kisses because without him, our lives would be incomplete. I’m grateful that my daughter has a father who sacrificed all he did to make a home for us and who we could depend on in a crisis. He’s always there for us…just like a great Mufasa should be. (We love you querido!)
Happy Father’s Day Mufasa! ♥ …and Happy Father’s Day to all the other Mufasa’s lingering out there! You are appreciated!
© 2011, Chantilly Patiño. All rights reserved.