Thursday, June 23, 2016

To All The Fathers Out There

Last Sunday was Father's Day. Some say it's a made up holiday whose only purpose is to get us to spend more money on cards and gifts. I, however, am not in that camp. Then again, I'm almost always looking for any reason to celebrate something. Still, being a good father is hard work so I think I'm right on this one.

My own father died just before my fifth birthday. It's okay. You don't have to tell me you're sorry. I'm not. From what I've heard, he wasn't that great of a guy. I'm sure he had some good qualities. He did, after all, help make me and my sister. For that, I'll always be grateful. And my mom did love him at one time. She's a pretty amazing woman, so he must have had some redeeming qualities. But I don't exactly remember mourning him and I don't remember wishing he were still alive in my youth.

The reason I've shared this is so you understand where I'm coming from when I tell you that growing up father's day was never that big a holiday in my house. My mom remarried but having a stepparent in the 80s was kind of uncharted territory. I didn't feel like he was my father, so I didn't treat him like my father. I treated him with as much respect as any teenager can treat an authority figure, but I never felt like he was my dad.

Then I married. And, after a few years, we had our first kid. I brag on my husband all the time. He's a great guy. He's funny, sexy, and smart. The whole package. But you never know how someone is going to be being a parent until they are one.

He changed every single diaper for the first two weeks. How do I possibly remember this so many years later? Because when he went back to work after his paternity leave, I had to call him and ask him how to change a diaper. I'd changed my nieces diapers in the past, but she wasn't a newborn when I changed them and she was, well, a girl. Changing a boy's diaper is completely different. I got peed on...a lot.

He's taught both the boys how to ride their bikes without training wheels. This is important because I'm kind of a worry wort. I love my kids and have a hard time accepting they're going to fall down and get hurt. If it were up to me, they'd probably still be riding with training wheels. Of course, that's an exaggeration. But I think you see what I'm saying. He encourages our kids to take age appropriate risks. This helps them grow and become more self-reliant. 

He also cleans up the puke. They say when you become a parent things like pee, poop, and puke don't phase you anymore. And I think those parents are amazing. Pee and poop really aren't a big deal to me. I wore both when my kids were babies. Puke, however, is a different story. I just can't do it. I'm one of those people who can't be around somebody who is puking or clean up puke without throwing up myself.

But, most importantly, he's shown our boys how to treat women. Yes, my husband and I fight from time to time. We're getting ready to celebrate our nineteenth anniversary. I've yet to meet a person who can live with someone else for nineteen years without a single fight. And I'm not exactly the easiest person to live with. I'm rather opinionated and I'm not afraid to share those opinions. But he always treats me with respect. And he tells me every day that he loves me. He kisses me and holds my hand in front of our children. He comforts me when I'm sad or stressed out. 

So to my husband, and all the fathers out there who put in the time and effort, thank you! You are amazing. And, yes, you deserve celebrating. We took my husband to a distillery this year. They were having an amazing barbecue. We ate meat, he and I drank a couple cocktails, and a fun time was had by all.

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