In honour of Father's Day, my gift to the love of my life is a little list of why I'm proud that he's the Father to my children. It's not much, sweetheart, but I want you to have it, in writing on the internet where it will stand as a testimony to your dedication and love for our children.
1. Pregnancy: Every time we see that positive test your first reaction is joy. None of this can we afford it business. You love to sing, talk to, and lovingly poke my belly from day 1. Our babies are whole and lovable in your heart before they can hear you (let alone see you). I will always cherish the memory of you rocking out on your guitar on my belly when we were pregnant with H. And the way she did a full jumping jack kick for you on Father's Day. Don't get me started on the fact that you would be a complete slave to my whims during pregnancy if I asked. I do my best not to take advantage too much but I appreciate your completely self-giving love always bookended by comments about it being the least that you can do, what with me carrying our baby and impending labour.
2. Labour: I couldn't ask for a better supporter and partner during labour. If you could push for me you would. You are my advocate when I'm too out of it to care, and quietly do everything you can to make me feel as comfortable as possible. You're also fearless. Despite early indications that you would stay at my head during the tough parts, you always jump in to hold my feet, hold a mirror, give important progress reports, all while whispering constantly in my ear how much you loved me, how proud you are and how gorgeous our baby will be. Then, when baby finally pops out you proudly announce gender and cut the cord. After a quick cuddle with Mommy I'm proud to watch you hold our little baby, bundled up warmly. You're the first thing baby sees and I can't imagine a warmer, more loving welcome to the family!
3. Parenting: You aren't afraid of the nitty gritty. You change diapers, give baths, wipe up spit-up (and wear it) and are always handy to give me a break during those rough nuthouse days. You are all the kids' first words and you earned it. Even though you work 7-5 M-F, when you're here they are your world. You play every game, no matter how silly (or how tired and achy you are). You are the boo-boo kisser, the toy fixer, the cuddler, the tickler, the listener, the cheerleader, and according to the talking crowd, the best best friend. Ever. I love that you can be firm and help with discipline, but also know when to be gentle when I've spent my day being severe. You are always the perfect balance to me as a parent and I thank you for following my lead as much as you lead the way. You trust our kids and always want to see them have new adventures. You are a perfect example for our boys but are also never too busy to dance with your Cinderella. (I promise I won't tell anyone you play dollies and tea party, although I find it totally charming). You are not just a Father, you are a Daddy. And a darn good one.
4. Us: What makes you not just a good Father but an amazing one (besides all the stuff I already said) is how much you love me. The kids can't help but feel secure in our family because they will never have a reason to doubt your love and fidelity to me. Although we argue like everyone else, we always make a point to make-up in front of the kids. Affection comes naturally in front of their watchful eyes. They also see that even though you work all day you jump right in and help me with any task I have going. I'm proud that our children will see in us a marriage of equals, friends, and most of all two people who are more in love each day. You also joyfully share faith with us. Our faith is what brought us together and you have made a point to let it grow in us as a couple and as a family.
The best thing any parent can offer their child is emotional security, support for their dreams, real and trusting faith, and unconditional love. In front of my eyes, I watched you become all these things the day we saw those two little lines on our first positive pregnancy test. I feel privileged to have witnessed you welcome each of children and become their Daddy. Thank you for sharing with me a life worth celebrating in a way worthy of our many gifts.
I love you. Happy Father's Day!