Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Father of My Children

I know the blogosphere is going to be filled with odes to dads this weekend. I am so glad that all these families have amazing husbands and fathers. My own family is thusly blessed.

I often complain about how my boys, even from a newborn babe, tend to prefer their dad. We sleep with the baby's bed pulled right up close to ours, so that we can sleep peacefully - without having to worry about where the baby is, but keeping the baby close. When the baby wakes up to nurse, I reach over and pick him up, but already that little head will be twisting and turning to try and spot Dad. They learn fast just where he'll be, and they do whatever they can to get a glimpse of him! Probably makes him feel like a rock star. I get a little jealous, but then  - it seems that these littles are already understanding what their dad is all about.

This dad that we have here is all about keeping us safe, and happy and protected. He makes sure we all have what we need. From a glass of water next to the nursing mama, or a car repair, he's our man. Shoveled walks and cleaned off cars, so our girls can safely drive away without snow blocking their view (because he knows they won't take the time do it it themselves), shopping for bats and mitts for a first T-Ball practice, to attending early morning soccer games, to dance recitals, to many nights tending a sick child or a fussy baby. Might as well throw in cooking a bazillion pizzas, millions of meatballs and spaghetti, and about a ton of meatloaf. He's changed approximately 37,000 diapers (no exaggeration), give or take, and taught three boys so far how to be 'straight shooters' in more than one sense of the word. He's watched more Pixar films than the Pixar people (Toy Story is his fav), and read more Sandra Boynton books than Sandra herself.  I love that our kids never, ever have to wonder if their dad is  going to be there - for the big events, and the little ones. Not only will he be there, he'll be there ahead of time, to make sure he gets a good seat! He'll be there early to pick them up, so they don't have to worry, and he'll make sure they have enough money, snacks, and drinks before they leave.

I love that the father of my children is so head over heels in love with his kids that he laughs as hard as I do at them, he cries as hard as I do for them, and he prays as hard as I do for and about them. He is showing our sons what it means to be a good, honest man. He is setting the bar very high for the kind of men our daughters should look for when they are ready to marry. They will be lucky to find one half as good, but I think we have taught them never to settle, go for the big love, the one that makes your day every single day. I love that one look from one of our kids can change the expression on his face from tension or fatigue to sheer joy. I love that nearly every picture we have of him, he is holding a child (not necessarily his own!).  I love that he took my girl and made her his own child, and has loved her and cared for her  and raised her up, just like all the rest of the kids. An unbelievable blessing.

Thank you, my Douglas, for being the dad you are - I couldn't ask for anything more. You never stop moving, helping me with everything in the house, then going outside to work on the girls' cars or lawn or whatever goes on in the garage. Thank you for being the guy who stops to help everyone you encounter on the road, or in life. Thanks for being the strong one, the whiskery one, the one who lets the littles steal sips of his Coke before they are really old enough, the one they all look up to and love.  Thanks for setting such a magnificent example for all of our children. I thank God every day for sending you to me! I love you with all of my heart, and I know our kids do, too. Happy Father's Day, my love.

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