When we said our “I do-s” many moons ago, I certainly loved you. I had no doubt that you were my “one and only.” I had no idea, though, how I would fall in love with you all over again each time one of our children was born. Or how my love would grow as I watch you with our boys. You are an amazing example of how a man, how a dad, should be. You teach them everything from burping and wrestling to holding the door for ladies and helping their mother with groceries. You hold them accountable for their actions, and show them how to be responsible people. You exemplify how important it is to work hard, but to make time for family and for fun.
Just a few of the times I have fallen in love with you more….
During the 2004-05 college basketball season. Our university had an amazing team. You perched Jake on your lap, and sat with him to watch the games. You’d explain the action to him. You talked about how exciting–and how important–it is to have fun while playing a game. You showed him how to be graceful in defeat, as our team went down in “March Madness.”
The way you would dress up to bring me and our newborn son(s) home from the hospital. Each one of our boys was unique and loved, and you showed your respect for them as new members of our family by wearing “fancy” clothes. It wasn’t a huge gesture, but it holds a place forever in my heart.
During the summer of 2006, our 4th of July plans got sidelined. You jumped into action, booking a room at a nearby hotel with water-park. You took Jake into the pools and played with him like he was a big kid. You made him feel so important after his baby brother took away much of the attention from him.
The many times when Tate was younger and unable to communicate, and you would just wait and let him tell you at his speed. You were so patient. So calm.
The summer of 2007 when we took a trip to the aquarium for our marine-animal-loving kiddo, Jake, and he freaked out and wanted no part of it. You maintained your calm, and took us over to a different attraction, making the most of our time in the city. You salvaged an afternoon of family fun.
The numerous times you’ve taken our boys into lakes and pools so I didn’t have to don a bathing suit…or submerge myself into the lake.
The summer of 2010 when my mom was sick. You stepped into the main caregiver role for our boys many days so that I could spend those last precious moments with my mom. You were a rock for all of us at that time. You tried to keep the boys’ routine as unaffected as possible.
The first day of school every year. You get wrapped up in the excitement, calm the fears that Jake and Tate have had, and share stories of your first days of school with them. You happily tote bags of supplies around, give pep talks, and take oodles of pictures that we can use to bribe them when they are teenagers.
The way that you maintain your sense of humor…through the 3 am diaper changes, through the sleepless nights (how many years later…), through the evaluations and diagnoses, through the easy times, through the painstakingly long sports games, and the school music concerts.
For all this, and more, I fall in love with you all over again….I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day. You are everything I could hope and dream for as a dad for our boys.