Puppy's first dad, Ray, arrived on Sunday night and leaves late tomorrow. It has been a very laid-back, easy-going visit thus far.
I don't know what, if anything, from these few days Puppy will remember years from now. But I watch him soaking up Ray's affection like a little sponge and I know it's worth it. Puppy is definitely beginning to develop an air of ownership of the relationship, a sense that Ray is "his."
We haven't been together in person with Ray all that many times since Puppy's placement, especially after we moved away. I can count the visits on one hand. But I know this visit wouldn't be so comfortable if Ray hadn't already stayed with us before, right before Firefly was born. And Puppy wouldn't have warmed up to him so quickly during that stay if he didn't remember him from our evening together the prior summer. And that evening wouldn't have been so enjoyable if we adults hadn't gotten to know each other better one summer day a year earlier, before Puppy was even a year old. And that early visit wouldn't have been as fruitful if we hadn't through that first awkward gathering when Puppy was just two months old.
It all builds upon itself, piece by piece. I know things will get harder down the road, as Puppy hits different ages and Ray's life (and ours) continues to change. But I have to believe this beginning, this foundation will still be there, underneath it all, carrying us in some small way.