While my kids don’t have the perfect dad, he’s pretty darn close. And I’m not sure whether they know it. It’s one of those things they may not know until they have kids of their own. But one day they’ll know.
Along my blogging way, I’ve met many dads who feel that fatherhood is shortchanged. Good dads need to be celebrated.
My husband is one of those dads. Although I usually write about my experiences as a mom, today I’m going to talk about him. I usually write about my decisions as a parent, but the truth is, he’s the other half of my team. I only give my side of the story. I couldn’t do my part without his.
1. From the moment my son was born, my husband dove into fatherhood. He took an entire month off work to be with his newborn son. Paternity leave. At night we took shifts on the couch with pillows propped precariously so we could get some sleep, the only thing that worked. Warming bottles of formula and changing a soiled diaper became an Olympic two-person sport at which we became adept in our sleep-deprived fury.
2. Night-time wakings have cursed this house for many years. As soon as our babies cried out, my husband’s feet hit the floor and he zipped across the hall before I had even sat up and opened my eyes. I’d walk in to find him already rocking and shushing. Never did my husband complain that this getting up in the night business was my job.
3. He has slept countless nights on our kids’ floors when they couldn’t fall back to sleep, covered around only his torso with a thin baby blanket and using a stuffed animal as a pillow if that’s all that was available.
4. He plays with the kids every evening after dinner, whether it’s wrestling, tag, a card game, catch, hide-and-seek, kickball, or just taking a walk. Every night he is a family man first, human playground second.
5. While I tend to act like a 10-year-old 90 percent more often than he does, he always makes dinner more lively when he tries to lick his plate when no one is looking or keeps a serious face when he sticks his smelly foot in your face and asks, “Hey, does my foot stink?” It’s the element of surprise that gets us every time.
6. He doesn’t always let the kids win. If you play a game with him, you’re on your own. My kids will be better for it when they’re older, though right now I don’t think they’d agree.
7. He does my daughter’s hair in the morning and lets her pick out her clothes because if I do it, the morning starts out in tears. When he does it, fits of giggles echo down the hall.
8. He doesn’t miss a game, a practice, a play, anything. Though I don’t need to reveal our sideline conversations. The kids should never hear those.
When we have a rough time in our small family, my husband and I get through it and then we laugh. There’s no one else I’d want to muddle through parenthood with.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there who are their family’s heroes.