All About Dad.

When we had a son many people told me how he (Samuel) would most likely cling to me and need me and worship the ground I walk on etc etc… until he was about 2-3 years old. Then it would be alllll about dad. Dad. Dad. Dad.
They were almost right.
Since Samuel was born, aside from nourishment, poopy diaper changes, and the occasional affectionate moment with me – he was born ALL ABOUT DAD. I’m not trying to downplay my role or anything – I love Samuel and he loves me and that’s that. But this is Father’s Day so I get to talk about John and he doesn’t get to stop me (HA. HOPE YOU’RE READING THIS, JOHN.)
FD pic
When you become parents, each of you ordinarily operates in the realm of “Reliable, Comforting, Safe Parent” OR “Crazy, Risk-taking, Boo-boo making, Fun Parent.” Knowing our personalties going into marriage I was destined to be the fun parent and I just knew it (PLEASE. I AM SO MUCH FUN OK?). But I didn’t really know who I was parenting with until Samuel came around. I have met my match.*
John is a FUN. MACHINE. When he comes home from work Samuel just can’t even. It’s “DADDY!!! DADDY!!!” at maximum decibels.
From about 12- 18 months, Samuel would get so excited to see John he wouldn’t know what to do so he would sort of run towards him and then run away and ignore John altogether while smiling like his cheeks were in charge of holding up his eyeballs. The cutest.
John will wrestle and throw and play and come up with games (that I don’t even think qualify as games?) that Samuel just LOOOVES doing and they’ll do it together and I just kind of shake my head while I make dinner and thank God for the two goobers running circles in my living room.
Of course part of that is being a boy. John’s been a boy before so he gets little boyhood on a very personal level. But honestly? A big part of it is who John is. It’s the man that he is that makes him so awesome at being a dad. He wants to get to know Samuel. He really really cares about who Samuel is as a person. He disciplines and he sets boundaries and he plays and he cares. He’s an incredible dad.
So here’s to all the dads today. To the ones who are raising ankle-biters, or teenagers (po-tay-to, po-tah-to). To the ones who are done “raising” people and now just get a front row seat to their lives. To all the dads (mine included) who patiently helped with homework, filled up the gas tank, listened and listened and listened (Shout out to dads of girls. You are saints. We have alot of words and feelings.) Keep on keeping on, guys.
Thank you, John for stepping into the role of father with both feet and making Samuel’s life so much richer and better for it.
And thanks to my Dad, too. For all the years in my life where I was quite content to be your valentine and wake up to flowers and balloons at my kitchen chair. You taught me how to find a guy that would really enjoy my company – because for my entire childhood, you always did. Thank you. (I’ve found him, Dad! Thanks for setting the standard. 🙂 )
I love you both.
*to be clear – I’m a fun parent too. Just a different sort. LIke silly faces and tickle fights instead of shooting the cat with a nerf gun. Play to your strengths.

My Favorite Men Month (part 1): Dad

Four out of the thirty days on my June calendar are: Father’s Day (the 16th), Wedding Anniversary (the 20th), Dad’s birthday (the 23rd), and Brother’s birthday (the 30th). Which makes it an unofficial “Celebrate My Favorite Men” Month.

And, since I have a knack for buying greeting cards and letting them collect on my shelf into one big pile of good intentions, I’m gonna cover my bases with a blog post for each of ’em this year. You can consider it my first attempt at a three-part “mini series.”

The Line up:

(in chronological order, more or less)

1) Dad – The one who has loved me unconditionally from day one.

2) John (Husband) – The one who likes me so much he has voluntarily chosen to live with me and love me til I die.

3) Matt (Brother) – The one who loves me because he “has to” but secretly, deep down, actually likes me too.

Man #1: Dad

TRADITION. Thanks for hoisting me (and all the other siblings!) on your back Christmas after Christmas after Christmas so we could put the angel on the top... Even when we probably could have reached it ourselves. You're the best. :)

TRADITION! It’s funny how the little things carry such huge significance (and back pain). Thanks for being so long-suffering. 🙂

There is so much about my childhood that I don’t remember but I consider it such a blessing to know that you were there for all of it. I remember dancing down the hallway as you played the “Linus and Lucy” theme song from Charlie Brown on the piano,  or barreling straight for your shins, plopping my bottom firmly on top of your foot and saying “Go!” and never being disappointed with the “foot ride” that followed. I remember the smell of coffee and peanut butter toast in the morning and the goodbye hugs before heading off to school with the words “Learn lots and become wise!” echoing in my ears. I remember feeling safe whenever you were around and getting really mad at Sarah when I told her I thought you were the most handsome guy in the world and she said, “No he isn’t, Rachel. You just love him so much that you think he is.” (I’ll let you talk to her about that 😉 ) I remember my heart bursting with joy whenever you told me how proud you are of me and how much you love to watch me dance on the stage. I remember thinking boys were so silly for trying to give me valentines because my heart was so clearly taken by the man who left me a HUGE  “I Love You” balloon tied to my chair at the kitchen table that morning.

I remember the countless conversations we had that would last way past my bedtime and whose effect on my life has lasted way past the eventual “Goodnight Rachel, I love you, sleep tight!” The times when you told me I was special, gifted, and created for a purpose. The times when I asked hard questions about faith and life and you answered them. And one particular conversation we had at the kitchen table a few years ago that was really difficult but really really good. I remember that too.

As I grow up and stretch out my wings and discover the world and my place in it, I know there is a man who believes I could go anywhere and be anybody. I know our relationship has changed because I have changed, and so have you. But the unique and powerful impact you have had on my life will never change, and I am so grateful for it. I love you, Dad. Thanks for always taking care of me.

Thanks for always offering me your arm, and your support. <3

You’ll always be the first guy I gave my heart to. 🙂