Ten years ago the father of my two daughters was just a customer at Subway trying to get my number. Today he is husband, father, provider, community member extraordinaire, impressing mothers and likely intimidating fellow fathers on the daily.
I’m a lucky woman.
My husband is the best dad I’ve ever seen. This is both a lofty statement and an undisputed fact. He’s that good. If you happen to know us — or follow us via social media — that become obvious quickly.
He volunteers at the schools. He arranges and executes playdates. He’s The Baby Whisperer. He handled the first sex conversation. He does the school projects. He writes funny notes in school lunches. He’s applying sunscreen as I’m writing this.
Here are Eleven Things About the Best Dad I Know
He’s Attentive: He listens like you’re the only one in the world. Kids love that. And need it.
Family First: He’d rather be with us 99% of the time. He let’s us know this.
Showing Up: Childcare drop off and pick-ups, play date arranging, piano lessons, bills, dance class, homework, the garbage and recycling, house maintenance, anything technical (or outside) and — more often than either of us prefer — grocery shopping and cooking.
The Little Things: He’s the first go-to for a skinned knee or a bad dream. He’s the one they know will take them to the craft store to get that school project done. He’s the one that will go on your field trip or pick you and your friend up from school. He throws together most of their meals from the too-often meager options in the fridge. He does so many of those things. That stuff adds up to kids. They stow away who is really caring for them.
He’s Excitable: He gets into what their into. And he really enjoys it. And then, they all love it so much together. And I’m never resentful or jealous (or just completely out-of-the-loop) at all.
He Puts Us First: He puts us before himself. Almost always, and especially when it matter. And, yes, this is to his detriment. This is likely one of the reasons we are in couples counseling. But it’s still sweet and helpful and appreciated and not acknowledged often enough. And, he should keep working on it. Because he deserves better than that.
We Don’t Always Put Our Kids First: We put us first, sometimes. As often as we need to, we put ourselves and each other first. Because we’ve figured out when we’re not strong the whole thing begins to fall apart. Kids do much better with healthy happy parents who send them to their rooms to watch a movie together, then distant, stressed out parents spending every guilty minute they can with their kids after their xx hour per week demanding job.
He Does What It Takes: No matter what’s going on in our little world — or outside — he makes sure we’ve got our immediate needs covered. Late night pharmacy runs. Becoming an expert iPhone repairer. Working until 4am. Often. Working weekends. Working for the long haul. Getting by in the moment. Always.
Everyone Loves Him: His family, my family…any family we’ve ever come in contact with. He’s one of the most popular guys at the girls’ elementary school. And with our kids’ friend’s parents. He’s got some kind of magic he turns on. I know, because I’ve seen him do a couple business meetings.
He’s Real: I’ve spent a year demolishing what my then life for my chance at Brené Brown-style authenticity. Be he’s the one who’s got it. He’s who he is, always. He does that. Somehow. It’s obviously an ongoing mystery to me.
He Does the Shit: The stuff no one wants to do. Barf. Poop. Piles of paper. Insurance substantiations. Taxes. Late night anything. Vet visits. Hearing it from the neighbors. Bills. Anything that requires tweezers.
I think all these parental days are fairly bullshitty. I know they’re likely to bring up as many hard or confusing feelings as they are warm and fuzzy ones. For the dads out there still fathering. This ones for you. After ten years with the best dad I know. I’m not saying be like him (I doubt you could), but if you’re interested in being better. Try a thing of two. Step up in one area. Do one time differently. See what happens.
Happy Father’s Day to the love of my life, the one that makes any of this possible, the one. We all love and adore you.