Listen, babe, I need you to know some things.
You’re a great dad.
You’re a great partner, provider, and person, too, but today we are focusing on the dad part.
And you rock this dad thing so hard.
You put your kids first, and you love them when it’s easy and when it’s hard.
You know when to laugh things off, and you know when you have to draw the line and have those “come to Jesus” talks.
You know when to put down your work, and throw the Frisbee in the yard.
You know when to skip the gym and take the kids out for fro-yo instead.
You know when to surprise us all with a weekend away, or take just one of our kids for some quality one-on-one time.
It’s like you were born to do this.
I love watching you play with the kids. Holding the baby in your arms, while you push the toddler on the swing. Chasing the big kids through the house making monster sounds so they will let me bathe in peace.
Coming home, and instead of changing into sweats or grabbing a snack, immediately scooping up the kids into a cuddle puddle, while they romp and tackle and roughhouse over the top of you.
Spending the weekends taking trips to the park and the library and their favorite lunch spots to fill their cup, even though you’re exhausted, because you know they miss you during the week.
You’re a great role model. You work hard outside of the house, and you work equally hard inside of the house. You show them the power of teamwork. You show them how to push themselves to achieve their goals, but never let the people who matter most take a backseat. You show them that family is everything. You have your priorities straight. They know they matter.
You love me, their mother. I said this letter wouldn’t focus on anything outside of how awesome of a father you are, but I think this is part of it. A really important part. You show them that, in a relationship, you treat your partner with love and respect and kindness. That you apologize when you fall short or lose your cool, and that you don’t hold on to that negativity. You forgive and let it go, so you can move forward together. You also show them how to forgive when you extend that courtesy to me when I’ve been less than cordial.
You show them that love isn’t perfect, but that love can rally, can push through the hard stuff, and come out the other side. You show them that love matters, and you demonstrate it in how you treat me and how you contribute to our household.
You listen to them. You get down on their level, and you validate their feelings. You help them work through their emotions, but you also know when to back off and let them sort things out on their own.
You are not stingy with your affection. You are such a softie. You are constantly snuggling them up. You are always there to scoop them up and hug them hard. You love smothering their cheeks in kisses. You love when they squeeze in next to you on the couch and lay their head on your shoulder.
You also know when they aren’t in the mood, and you don’t push it, which teaches them to be autonomous individuals who respect their bodies and the boundaries of others. Even though it bums you out, you respect their space.
And above all else, you show up. Every day, without fail, even when you’re tired or overwhelmed or stressed out. Nobody in this family questions your love for them. Nobody questions whether or not you truly see them, and know their quirks and their strengths and their weaknesses. Our kids know that Dad knows them, understands them, and will fight for them anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
And I love you for a million reasons, but I love you most for being the best dad ever. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing you with our babies, and I know it brings you joy too, which makes it all 10 times sweeter.
Our life is so good. Thank you for being you.
Happy Father’s Day.