Sunday, June 15, 2014

It Takes Someone Special

Dear Delilah & Canon,

Today is Father's Day. There's a popular saying that goes "Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad." While I'll admit that this message raises my hackles a little bit, today is not the day for a feminist deconstruction of the implications of this message. Today is the day for focusing on your father, your Dad, and him? He is someone special.

I know that I don't tell him often enough just how special he is, but I know that he feels it each and every day when you, his children, throw your arms around his neck or plant a kiss on his cheek. One of the most important things a good father can do for his children is just to be there, and your father is there. When I was pregnant with each of you, he came to every appointment with me, not just to support me, but to ask questions and be fully invested in your lives from the beginning. He's continued to attend every well-check or urgent care visit. He attends preschool orientations and family gatherings. He plans his social life around our family life, and when he has to work long hours, he misses you both terribly.

He goes beyond just being "there," he's actively involved, not merely a spectator. We make informed parenting decisions together in what we believe to be your best interests. He's a gentle, sensitive, and nurturing man who encourages you both in your individuality and supports your interests and dreams. He validates your feelings and would never raise a hand to you or knowingly do anything to harm you. He gives you baths and reads you books at bedtime. He teaches you how to play instruments and how to hold a fishing pole. He kisses skinned knees and hugs hurt feelings.

Your father teaches, by his example, the values of hard work, kindness and compassion, equality, cooperation, honesty, and responsibility. He puts our family first, and he puts conscious effort into making sure we know just how much we mean to him. (The world. We mean the world to him.) He treats your mother with love and respect, and he supports her in her own dreams and endeavors.

With the way I'm going on him about him, he might be starting to sound practically perfect, right? Like anyone else, he makes mistakes, but he is quick to acknowledge and apologize for them. He knows that life is a learning journey, and he's committed to being there until the end. Any man can be a father, but there's no other father quite like yours, and he is someone special, indeed.

Love,

Mama

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