I read a surprisingly cool quote in People, from Matthew McConaughey:
"It's nice when [the kids] notice the deep voice from across the house, and they know it's Papa. They know it's Dad."
This totally happened today, when Joe came home from work (yes, he did work on a Saturday; building spaceships does take dedication even on Father's Day weekend; make that Dadication. Zing!)
Zach was helping me unfold the laundry I'd just finished folding. The two of us were upstairs, in the special laundry-folding spot (the floor, in front of the laundry room). Joe came into the kitchen through the garage entrance and started talking to the big kids, who were in the grips of Minecraft. Baby and I heard the familiar clink in the key bowl--Joe putting away his car keys. And immediately, Zach perked up and started yelling and waving his arms.
It was unmistakable recognition of Dad's dad-noises by our almost 10-month-old.
Zach was thinking, "Dad's home!" And he wouldn't be consoled until he was in Joe's arms.
One of the hardest moments of my life was, after my dad's accident, being in his house while he lay across town in the hospital. Listening for the familiar, late-day noises of my teenage years and not hearing them. Not hearing him stroll jovially into the house after a day at work to call out, "Hullo!" in just his way. I was an adult by then, with kids of my own. But at that time I felt as vulnerable as if I had never left childhood.
I remember praying to hear those things again.
Thank you, higher powers that be, for the dadsounds in my life.