To be clear, we’re going to call this your first Father’s Day. Your real first came last year, just two weeks after our son was born. We were bleary-eyed new parents fighting the summer heat and a never-ending wave of exhaustion. I was still rocking the C-section recovery and could only manage to buy you a whiskey glass via Amazon Prime (which you opened by accident the day before). My point is, your first Father’s Day doesn’t count for several reasons, and a year of gratitude has been brewing as the do-over day nears.
Sweet husband of mine, thank you:
- For making me a mother. We didn’t have an easy time becoming parents. Four traumatic losses left us emotionally and financially flat, but you didn’t give up. You saw the need in me to have a baby, and you were all in. Your resolve and support gave us a perfect little boy, and the greatest happiness in our lives.
- For getting up. So, about that happiness: it once cried way too much. Mister has been sleeping through the night for months now (yes, I’m knocking on wood), but you were the one to get up during those early days. You helped me navigate breastfeeding, took turns feeding when I began to pump, and championed sleep training from six months on. You were a zombie Dad rock star and you never complained. Not once.
- For understanding about poop. I didn’t exactly jump into diaper changing with gusto, but you quickly became an expert. Thanks for giving me the space to adjust and gag without judgement.
- For being protective. People assume our son’s diet and school choice and bedtime routine were all my doing, but you have participated in every decision from Day 1. You are fiercely protective of his health and happiness, and you always make sure he is at the top of your priority list.
- For lying to me. No, you don’t look tired. No, I can’t tell you’ve had a baby. Don’t worry about dinner…I wanted toast anyway. You’re a Grade A liar, my friend, and I love you for it.
- For needing “us” time. We’re better parents when we have some time to ourselves every so often, and you are quick to prioritize it. People say your relationship changes after having kids, but I feel like we’ve only gotten better.
- For dismissing the “Super Dad” label. “I’m just taking care of my kid,” you say. “Why is that extraordinary?” You think the Super Dad label is overdone and even insulting to fathers who just want to participate in caring for their children. You love being home with us and you never make me feel as if I’m steering the ship alone.
- For being goofy. Some men are embarrassed to show their playful side when it comes to kids, but you have embraced your inner dork. Nothing makes me happier than watching you run through the house with Mister on your shoulders or singing along with his dancing robot toy. There’s nothing you won’t do for a baby smile.
- For being a role model. I never wanted to be a Mom who had to explain Dad’s bad behavior: “Daddy didn’t mean that,” “Dad just had too much to drink,” “Sometimes grown-ups get upset,” etc. Not with you. Your steadiness and patience tells me that I can trust you as our son’s role model. He is completely safe with you.
- For being the man you are. When we met, you were a grungy college kid who never cut his hair, stayed up for 72 hours straight “just because,” and according to you, had no chance of succeeding in life. You were completely wrong of course, and though our lives and hairstyles look nothing like they did back then, you are still the same person I fell in love with all those years ago. Time and circumstance haven’t changed your kindness and humble nature. You are My Person, and I’m so happy to share you with Mister. Happy Father’s Day, wonderful man. Thanks for all you do.