I had an awesome dad. From a kid’s perspective he had the coolest job- he drove choo choo trains (as an adult I still think that’s pretty cool). He played my favorite board games with me and took me to the park to show off my monkey bar skills. When I’d go with him to the gas station I always got to buy candy. My dad coached me in softball and always made an effort at home to help me practice by playing catch. He built me forts out of the big pillows we had in front of our tv (actually using the record stand as one side, gosh that was long ago). I was never too old to sit on his lap. My dad was the kind of guy who would look up the consumer reports on all of the latest barbeques if you told him you were in the market for one. We even shared recipes. And rain or shine, morning or night, when you left his house he always walked you outside and waited to wave goodbye. If I sat here long enough I could think of dozens of more memories that made him awesome. But overall, it all comes down to feeling loved. Gosh he was good at that. I was one of five children but if you could feel what I do in my heart, it’s as if I was his only child. His hugs were magically warming, his corny jokes could make any day brighter, and his love and magic extended to the way he treated his grandchildren.
Needless to say, I had high standards in finding a man who could be this for my own children. To be honest, I had no idea the specifics that I was looking for, but thank God I found them in the man I chose. My husband loves being a dad more than I ever imagined he would. He coaches and helps the kid’s teams, even though it often means him working later at night to finish his job. My son has papers from his dad’s office in his room and he has been pretending to do work “just like dad.” My husband plays, sometimes to the point where I think I have three children, but he plays with the kids constantly whether it’s a game of monopoly or Nerf gun wars. He is also the homework checker, does his share of school carpooling, and he loves family outings and vacations together. As I’m looking through pictures I see him with the kids carving pumpkins, making gingerbread houses, burying them in the sand, and going to daddy./daughter dances. One of the things that I think the kids will remember the most is that instead of a bedtime story or tucking them in at night, he “tickles them to sleep.” It’s part of the nightly routine and the squeals and giggles that come from their rooms are what tell me how much he is loved.
So I’m pretty darn lucky. I had an amazing dad and my husband has become a great daddy as well. I think a lot of this comes from not being afraid to be silly, making their kids a priority above work, and taking the time to be with their kids. That may be the most important one- BEING with their kids. Taking the time to let go of the crazies of their day to listen to their kid’s nonsensical stories, watch the skits they create, or sit on the ground and actually draw with chalk beside them. I am so grateful for this gift that my dad gave me and that now my husband is giving our children. Eventually it will be the bar in which our son will measure what kind of dad he wants to be and for our daughter, what she expects in a husband. Parenthood is no easy thing. I’m so grateful these men in my life got it right!
Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there. You have a tough job but you really do make a difference. Thank you for all that you do!