I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing dads.
My own dad: the amazing human who makes up half of my DNA – mostly my twisted sense of humor. He’s always been one of the best people in my life, and one of the few people who I know would drop everything and do anything for me if I ever needed. You don’t get that from very many people; Lord knows I love him to pieces.
My ex-step-dad: you know you are deeply loved when another human makes the conscious decision to stick around be your parent, and to be an amazing grandparent to your children, when there is nothing binding him to do so. I genuinely couldn’t be luckier to have this guy participating in our lives.
And J. My sweet, amazing husband. The dashing father of our three babes. He is everything I ever hoped for in a partner, and then some. I grew up knowing a lot of not-so-stellar dads, so I was a wee bit leery in the men department. But I was upfront with him from the beginning; if we were going to do the kid thing, then he had to be all in. He didn’t get nights and weekends off. He didn’t get a free pass because he’d had a crappy day at work. He was there. Committed. 100%. It was kind of a silly discussion; because he was so committed even before then.
Those tiny babes have each had him wrapped around their tiny fingers from the day of conception. And more so, they’ve been fully wrapped around his heart.
There is nothing more beautiful, or sexy, than a man in love with his children. I do not take for granted for a single moment that he has always been an equal parent. He’s changed just as many diapers, paced the hall in the middle of the night with a colicky baby just as often, mended owies, kissed hands, been spoon-fed spaghetti by toddlers, and had eyes rolled at him just as frequently as I have.
He’s ever-calm in a way I still don’t understand how he manages. All hell can break loose and he’s the one cradling kids and meeting everyone’s needs while also making it explicitly clear in the gentlest of voices that families must always work together and be loving.
And there are other dads that we are surrounded by that are so great. J’s best friends. The husband’s of some of my dearest momma friends. My step-dad. My future brother-in-law is going to be a bang up dad; he’s so great and loving with my kids all ready.
When scary stuff in the world happens, it always makes me so sad. But then I remind myself of all the men I know who are raising strong, kind, loving children who will never hate another human based on race, gender or religion, and it makes me feel so confident that slowly this world will be a better place. Because of J, because of other hands-on, gentle, forward-thinking papas, there will be a whole generation of kiddos one day who only know love. (And obviously their mommas are helping there, too!)
So here is to all the dads today! To all the papas who love their babies fiercely. This is your day. You so deserve it.