Over 18 years have passed since my husband became a father. I watched him hold our little 8 pound 12oz baby in his arms as if she were made of porcelain. He changed every diaper in the hospital. I didn’t change a single diaper until we got home…and that was our first child. He sang lullabies to babies still in the womb, even to those that didn’t live. He’s all in, head over heels in love with his children. Totally committed, totally sold out to loving them.
When I found out I was pregnant with baby number one, we weren’t married. I asked him “What am I going to do?” Meaning, how am I going to raise this kid? His answer “You’re going to marry me.” And that was that. There was never a time he wasn’t going to be part of his kids’ lives. From that day forward he was a daddy.
Kids grow and we’ve learned that baby days are actually the easiest of days. When they out grow being a baby, a toddler and a little kid, somewhere between first grade and grown up they get really hard. When I’m thinking about what discipline we need to throw down he makes the simple suggestion that they need a date. When our kids get really hard and have some kind of behavior issue, he takes them to breakfast. I want to ground them for life, he wants to eat bacon with them. We’ve found bacon works. Sometimes they need breakfast a lot. They may or may not even talk about the issue at hand, but breakfast is the number one way he’s connected with those girls. He’s given them a soft place to fall when I wanted to take their social lives away. He’s shown love and grace and mercy like I never could. It’s the love only a father can offer and it’s pretty amazing.
His night time patience far out lasts mine. I’ve seen this man laying in a toddler bed, outside the door of a kid learning to stay in bed, barely hanging on the edge our bed because too many kids were in the middle, in the bed of a sick kid, in the bed of a child with a broken heart and in the bed of a girl that can’t sleep because she is terrified of her own thoughts. I’ve seen him pace the hall holding a baby and I’ve seen him comfort a crying teenager in the night. He’s gentle and patient (and sometimes annoying enough) to get them back to sleep. He’s actually the most patient person I know. (Also, if you have babies now, there will be a brief time that you get to sleep between about the ages of 6 and 13. After that everything that needs to be talked about or worked out will happen between 10 pm and 1 am. This is also the time in your life where you will have a very brief window in which you’re actually able to fall asleep. That window will be between 10 pm and 1 am)
My guy shows up. I may be the mom that goes to every game, performance and trip. But he’s the dad in the stands, in the audience whose approval they want the most. He’ll show up with flowers and proudly watch in admiration. He doesn’t clap the loudest or yell from the sidelines. When we’re back to quiet of our home he’ll say “hey, nice rebound,” “Great show” or “You really hit that note you were struggling with before.” Those are the comments they crave, it’s his praise they live for. He shows up for dinner, he shows up at bedtime, he’s there for church, for family gatherings. He shows up for the everyday conversations and the big events. He’s a part of the mundane and the extraordinary.
He’s in love with our kids mother. We go out to dinner out on fun dates. Our kids see us kissing in the kitchen or holding hands on a walk. They also see us argue about whatever stupid thing that is getting on our nerves and then make up because people that love each other always make up. It’s no secret that it’s hard to live with another person and we don’t keep it a secret that we don’t get a long 100% of the time. Our kids have seen what it is like to struggle, they’ve seen us madly in love. They’ve seen us laughing and crying, they’ve seen us arguing and they know when we’re making out in the laundry room…shhh. They know their daddy loves their mom and I think that’s one of the best examples that he can be for them.
Father’s Day couldn’t pass with out me wishing the love of my life the happiest day, because he truly is the actual “best dad ever.”