Monday, June 22, 2015

A letter to my husband the day after Father's Day

Dear Richie,

Well, I blew it. Yesterday, while the Internet exploded with sentimental pictures of daddies and daughters dancing at weddings and selfies of fathers and sons fishing and drinking beer, my Facebook sat silent.

It's not for a lack of pictures. Just this week our tweenage daughter rolled her eyes in disgust as I forced her to snap a picture with you at her fifth-grade promotion ceremony.

There are so many events in our kids' lives worthy of photos. I should know since there are over 900 photos sitting on my phone right now (which is probably why it's crashing). It's easy to want to show up for those events. They are cute and (usually) rehearsed, and you generally know what's going to happen next.

Most of parenthood is not like that. At least not in our family. Life is messy. Sometimes it's completely insane and other days it's pull your hair out monotonous. The thing that makes you such an amazing dad is that you don't just show up for the well-rehearsed, photo-worthy events.

You show up every day. In all things, big and small, you are there whenever we need you. And it turns out, we need you a lot.

  • You get the kids up, fed, and ready for school every morning, which I would compare to herding cats, but that would only be a fair comparison if you had to convince a cat to wear standardized dress. What you do is much harder.

  • You talk me off the ledge when one of the kids has a bump or a bruise or a low-grade fever and I'm convinced they've developed a life-threatening tropical disease that I may or may not have read about on Web MD.

  • After working all day, you stop at the grocery store to pick up a bag of limes that our daughter needs for her science fair project on "how much acid is in your food". 

  • You take the kids trick or treating even though it means you will miss game 7 of the World Series. 

  • You clean up the puke.

  • You always open the door for me and pull out my chair. These are the things that will show our daughter how men should treat her. That and cleaning up the puke.

  • You learned how to speak Minecraft.

  • Every night, you ask our kids what the best part of their day was, and listen as they tell you stories of winning awards and eating the cheesiest nachos in the world. And every night you pray with them, tell them you love them and kiss them goodnight.
I know these are not the most glamorous parts of fatherhood. And some days, they may seem unimportant and small. But to me . . . to us, they are more than important. They are the things that show our kids that not only are they loved, they are adored, by the man they call daddy.

And one day is simply not enough to tell you that we adore you too.

(and Little Princess & Little Man)