I thought about writing this letter to you as I lie in bed this morning listening to you play with our daughter. It’s long overdue, and I’m sorry for that.
Thank you for being here with us. At every opportunity, you choose to make us a priority and be present. I know how many invites from friends and for work events you turn down because it would cut down on your time with your family. You choose us over everyone else, and we notice.
Thank you for making the morning coffee. It might seem small and trivial to most, but to me, it shows love. You don’t even drink coffee, but you take time out of your rushed morning to do something to make my day a little easier and a whole lot happier.
Thank you for not commenting when I lose my cool. When I’m at the end of my rope and cannot handle another whine/scream/NO/demand from our child, you step in and give me a much needed breather. You don’t make me feel bad about getting mad or frustrated with our tiny human, and I appreciate that.
Thank you for being genuinely excited to sit on the floor and play, even when the game is taking everything out of the toy box, just to put it back in—repeatedly. Your excitement about it and the squeals of delight from our child fill my heart.
Thank you for wearing a pink cape and chasing our daughter around while I sit here and write this. Not every dad would wear whatever their daughter asked them to. But you do—every time. Pink tutu? Red princess crown? Multiple necklaces? Carry a purse around? All of the above at the same time? You don’t even hesitate.
Thank you for showing me affection and love in front of our daughter. As she grows up, I want her to know that her mommy and daddy love each other. I want her to know that a man should treat her with affection and gentle hands.
Thank you for doing something every day that reminds me how amazing you are, even if I don’t appreciate it at the time.
Thank you for the mid-day “I love you” and “How’s it going?” texts. It makes me smile to know you are thinking of me during your busy day.
Thank you for making up silly songs (that mostly rhyme) to get our daughter excited about daily things: the toothbrush song, the clean-up song, the wash-your-hands song. All of those daily tasks could easily be a struggle if we didn’t have such fun songs to sing while doing them.
Thank you for always being the one to get up first on the weekends. Even if I only get an extra 15 minutes in bed before our daughter climbs in to say hi, that’s 15 minutes to myself I wouldn’t otherwise have.
Thank you for being the voice of reason when my tired brain comes up with impossible scenarios of doom.
Thank you for letting our daughter use you as a jungle gym. She knows without hesitation that her daddy will catch her, hold her, tickle her, and welcome her presence. That trust is so precious and special, and I hope it never goes away.
Thank you for remembering I am still a woman aside from being mommy, for remembering to make me feel attractive; even if I roll my eyes and laugh it off, some part of that compliment eventually gets through.
Thank you for proudly carrying/wearing/transporting our daughter when we are out and about. Your arms reach into the middle of the car much more easily than mine, but I know you do it because you want to, not because you have to. Yes, your arms are much stronger than mine, but I know you love the stolen kisses and snuggles you get when you’re the one carrying her.
Thank you for supporting me in all my adventures, whether it’s giving me time to work out (I swear I’m going to do it regularly, I swear), giving me time for a craft project I’ll most likely get halfway through before giving up, or supporting me writing articles that will most likely never be seen by another person. Thank you for believing I can do anything I want to.
Thank you for being just as mystified and confused about this parenting thing as I am. We’re in this together for the long haul, one messy day at a time.
Thank you for being here.