One evening, after we’d put the kids to bed, and it had been a trying evening, I noticed an expression on your face. As I pulled the cork from the wine bottle and filled our glasses, handing one to you, you didn’t seem at ease. You looked troubled. When I asked you what was wrong you said that you were upset because of the way we sometimes struggle with the kids. I could only agree. There’s so much sibling rivalry between them these days, two very different personalities and two very strong wills. The calm moments are less frequent than they used to be.
I’ve long known that your heart is wide and deep and this particular evening was a reminder of what an involved, interested and devoted father you are. You could’ve easily shrugged off the evening’s antics, flopped onto the couch and turned on the game. So, thank you.
Thank you for being a father and living the word’s meaning. Thank you for being a partner who takes on the good and occasionally (slightly) unpleasant task of parenthood willingly and without fail. Thank you for pouring every extra bit of energy you have at the end of each long day into loving our children. Thank you for being an honest man, a sensitive and affectionate man. Our children will grow up knowing what it means to be good and fair. They’ll grow up knowing they’re adored and enjoyed.
I’m grateful that they have you to hold them when they cry and laugh with when you do those silly voices you do. Or lay on the floor of Luke’s bedroom and put together countless, minute Legos precisely the way he wants. Or when you braid Madeleine’s hair delicately with those weathered, muscular meathooks of yours, and deftly organize her fluffy, pink, sparkly toys when her room gets out of control.
Remember when they were babies and they only wanted me? Was it because I smelled like milk? You were so disappointed when they’d cry when you held them. But then they got older. Now they want you all the time. It’s all going so fast. Isn’t it wonderful when they laugh together? Those great, big belly laughs. And when Luke reads to Madeleine before bed. I love that. When they chase each other around the house and shriek those awful high-pitched shrieks and we’re trying so hard to clean up and “finish” for the night so we can rest. It’s sweet that they play together, even if it’s so incredibly loud. They’re still little if they wear cute pajamas to bed, that’s what I tell myself. Do you think we’ll remember the everyday things the same way we do the big, important things? I hope we do. I hope you’re having fun as we go.
I had no idea our life would be like this. Did you? Full, loud, blurry and tiring. I’m grateful to you for all of this, for all that we have. And I’m grateful to be standing in my shoes, that I get to be an observer watching it all unfold.
Happy Father’s Day