On Father’s Day, it’s fitting for a mother to stop and reflect on the person who made her a mother — most literally, her babies’ father.
I’m going to do that, but I have to give a tiny intro:
In the modern day, it seems that men can almost feel like they’ve done something shameful just by being born a male. There is a lot of talk about them as aggressors, oppressors, and privileged. Woman are always proclaiming our power and actively asserting our ability to rise to the level of men. Much to their chagrin at times, no doubt, because only they realize what women don’t (that we’ve already passed them *wink*)! To be sure, there is plenty of guilt by association, and there are probably many men who’d rather not be associated with some of the unquestionably base behaviors recklessly attributed to “Males.”
Based on this line of discussion, it is a little bit of cultural dissonance to celebrate MEN, who are traditionally the inhabiters of the “Fatherhood” role. Yet, sometimes, there is nothing that can solve our aches and pains in everyday life better than a really good man, and even more, a really, really good Father.
Judging by the extreme damage done to friends and family who’ve experienced the lifelong wounds of an absent or abusive father, the impact of a Father on a life is not to be underestimated. Father’s Day is a good and necessary day, a great opportunity to pause and stop taking for granted all the things we wouldn’t have without our Fathers.
All of that said, I want to celebrate one particular Father today: the Father of my children.
My husband is not the type to over-celebrate a holiday or give in to the materialism that drives many of our “such-and-such” Days in American popular culture. He can’t be fooled by the florist industry. He really doesn’t seem to spare any effs if a Father’s Day or even a birthday passes without a gift or a balloon. Words of Affirmation are not his love language.
Still — I don’t want to let this day pass without memorializing the gift of a really excellent MAN, Father, Daddy, and husband in our lives. If it were just me, our life would look so different and so much smaller. So here’s a thankful record of a few of the things that he brings to our family, which have shaped us and made us who we are today:
- He doesn’t care what you think.
You can’t make him, either! I really mean this. He’s not the kind of person who says he doesn’t care what you think to seem cool and tough, he really, actually, literally doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. He knows his own mind and his own code, and he endeavors to live according to it every day. He doesn’t fret, he keeps moving forward. I think this is so excellent, because I have never once seen him worry about our children embarrassing him or us. He is able to make decisions with directness and confidence, not out of fear. He can find true north very quickly. He never puts pressure on any of us to make anyone else happy. This provides a freedom and clarity that is so good for our children.
- He’s definitely seen worse.
This is really handy when your bathtub won’t drain, or there’s a snake in the garage, or your kidpukes on the back of the couch, or you give birth to babies, or you have terrible, debilitating constipation during childbirth recovery. He’s seen worse, and he won’t ditch when things get gross. Oh yeah — and he’ll change ANY diaper. Without him, our backyard would resemble a jungle, the dog poop would be a permanent fixture in the yard, and our bathtub probably still wouldn’t have drained since the kids’ bath last Saturday.
- Yeah, he’ll risk it.
Because of points 1 & 2, he is ready to take almost any risk if the end result could improve life for his family. He does his homework, lots of it, but if there’s no clear “better” or “worse” option, he’ll go for the thing that has the biggest potential payoff over the thing that has a higher guarantee of success. If it weren’t for him, we’d probably still be renting an apartment and driving my 2004 Corolla, and although I know those examples are materialistic, they are just examples symbolizing his mentality, a willingness to jump when I would have stayed safe. And boy, are we sure loving life more with the things he’s won for us.
- He always believes he can make it better.
There’s never been a moment of complacency or laziness in our lives. He’s the dad who is alwayssearching for the next big idea, hoping to find the win outside the lines that will unlock the potential for the future of our family, especially for the kids. Also, he literally keeps building, replacing our roof, adding a deck with stairs to the back of the house, repainting our siding, AND MORE. He also believes that he can definitely make me better with just the right commentary. While not always appreciated fully in the moment, I appreciate the intention, and the fact that as long as we’re around each other, I’ll never be allowed to grow complacent, either. [During this writing, he was watching a TV show featuring a gorgeous house with an open kitchen, etc. etc., and he says, “I’m gonna build you this house like that.”]
- He’s a man with answers.
Any time a friend, acquaintance, or stranger is facing a life problem that they tell to me, my response is usually, “Let me ask my husband, he’ll know what to do.” And always — but always! — he does. His practical fix-it nature extends to so many realms, and his brain contains a wealth of knowledge I can’t quite comprehend. His smarts are the street kind, and his “situational awareness” is over the top. He can also open any jar, but that’s beside the point.
In summary, there are not enough words to tell you how many times I get that huge feeling of relief — that relief equal to waking up from a nightmare in which you believe you’ve missed your court date for that speeding ticket so now you’re in jail butt naked (because always, in nightmares) — when I remember he’s our guy.
Because he is everything I’m not, he’s an EXCELLENT man, he’s a patient, loving, affectionate and FUN daddy, and he saves my day one thousand times per year. Just wanted him to know, in case I didn’t say it.
I love him so, and Fatherhood has been the best thing I’ve ever seen him do. Happy Father’s Day, my babe.