To the Man of the Moment,
My heart swells when I see you ‘dad’. I never get tired of watching you with our girls. I melted as your big, strong hands cradled our newborn’s dark head with “old hat” confidence and the way you soothed her gently with your deep lullaby. You have never shied away from fatherhood but have embraced it with eagerness and a deep-set love. Few men want to be fathers. But you were one of them. Not many sob at the overwhelming responsibility with humility and fear nor with an overpowering longing and love for the role you would play. But you did. And even fewer men step up and become dad and mom when another child is added to the family. But you did with efficacy and a willing heart. And that, my Love, is why you are the man of the moment!
In my past post, A Tribute to my Husband, I wanted the world to know just how amazing you were when our first little girl came into the world because, honestly, I know few men who would do what you did for not only their little girls but for their wives. What you saw, did and encountered went far beyond the lovely, the sexy, the beautiful and the desirable. In fact, what you had to see and do for me the first time was disgusting and repulsive. What you had to do for our firstborn was tiring, taxing and energy-sapping. But each time, you willingly and selflessly served us and loved us, for better or worse, without complaint.
And, in all honesty, I was scared to do it alone without you this time. I didn’t know if I would manage. It was hard enough the first time with you. And the thought of being without you made me anxious. I wanted you there by my side. There was no one else I wanted to lift me into the bed, lower me onto the loo, help latch a newborn and wind her after a feed. I didn’t want to call a stranger to help me. I wanted you.
But when you walked in with our eldest daughter, I knew that you were right where you needed to be at that moment. She needed her daddy more than I needed you. The two of you bonded instantly when she was born because I was too sore or too high. And my heart turned to mush when I saw how you became her everything while I was in hospital. You knew that she was your priority and you were the one who informed me how she was, when she needed to sleep, how she had eaten that day and so forth. You were the one making sure she had her fill and more of cuddles.
My heart broke for you when you visited me and our new baby and told me how you were torn because you wanted to be with our eldest to comfort and love her but you were also painfully aware of the moments you were missing with our new baby. I wished that I could hold you as you wept over our toddler’s tears when she wanted me but you couldn’t give her me and as you became aware how much her little world was about to change. Many moms would be nervous to leave their children to be “babysat” by their husbands but I was not, for one moment, nervous of leaving our toddler in your care. Because you don’t babysit, you parent. You have been getting up for her in the night for months since I stopped breastfeeding her. In the beginning, it was necessity. Now, you do it willingly. You do your share of changing her nappies. You help at meal times. You shower with her. You brush her teeth at night. You read to her. And that’s why it made no sense for anyone else to parent her while I was in hospital. You are as much a part of her routine as I am. And your paternity leave counted most then.
And, although I knew how you would step up to the plate, I was still surprised by just how much you did. All without being asked! Using cloth nappies is admin when you have to fold and wash them. I honestly expected you to default to disposables once the cloth had run out. But, blow me down, you told me you had run late because you had been washing nappies! And the next day, she was still wearing cloth! You were painfully aware of how much our eldest was being carted around and knew she just needed some attention and fun. So you made an extra effort to take her to the park when you knew she’d had enough of having to behave in a hospital room. When I arrived home, my heart warmed to see new daddy-daughter traditions that had created while I had been away like having tea on the bottom stair and lying with her on her bed and cuddling at night. (Although I suspect the cuddles were more for your sake than for hers!) I was blown away at what you did each night. Before the babies went to bed, you sorted out dinner, brought me mine upstairs, ate with our toddler downstairs, showered and dressed her and put her to bed. After the girls were down – cleaning the kitchen, stacking the dishwasher, washing nappies, preparing breakfast for the next day, making Milo, hanging up washing and the list goes on! And what struck me was the way you approached it.
I need to (fill in the blank) before I come to bed.
I didn’t need to tell you what needed to be done. You did it selflessly, willingly and without complaining! You did everything you normally did as well as what I did every day. And nothing changed when you went back to work!
And as if all this wasn’t enough, as you turned out the light and fell into bed, rightly exhausted, our newborn would cry. You would get up, offer to change a nappy or pace with her while she screamed and writhed for a good while because you “felt bad” that I was getting up for her all the time! You are a gem, Babe!
This month we have been together for 14 years! Next year we will have been together half my life – together as long as we spent apart! Today, we celebrate 7 years of marriage – as long as we dated before getting married. (We often joke that you worked for me as long as Jacob worked for Rachel but at least you were working for the oldest daughter and not the youngest!) We’ve watched each other change and grow through our teenage years. We’ve seen the arrogant, dogmatic younger versions of ourselves. We’ve gone through everything from dramas over driving lessons to the stress of building a house. We’ve seen years of plenty and years of years of very little. We’ve gone overseas after three months of marriage, we’ve moved four times and I’ve changed jobs many times. We’ve taken leaps of faith together, choosing not to have a second income twice, building a house we couldn’t afford, having two children on a small budget, not knowing how we’d make it from month to month and making the decision for me to stay at home. We’ve both taken paths different from the fields we studied. And, all the while, God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams! We’ve done so much together and know so much about each other. But it’s only the beginning! Lord willing, we have many more adventures to go on, more memories to make and more to learn about each other.
So, my Love, here’s to more leaps of faith, more movies and chocolate, more children (J), more anniversaries, more weekend fish and chips nights and more fun, adventurous and treasured years loving one another and our children! May we grow closer in the Lord and serve Him faithfully, better together than apart until our life’s end, winning souls for the Gospel!
Thank you for being more than the superficial man of my dreams! Thank you for your love and dedication to our family! Thank you for your loyalty and faithfulness to me! Thank you for being such a doting Daddy! Thank you for leading our little family closer to the Lord because of your humility and passion for Him! I admire your love for His Word and your passion to see the lost saved! I admire your ability to be convicted by the Spirit and your humility. I admire your dedication and unwavering love for our girls! You are my rock, my heart-keeper and my holder-upper!
I love you with every fibre of my being and pray that I will serve you better and love you more deeply every day!
With all the love in the world,
Your KaytyTags: anniversary, dad, daddy, father, husband, marriage, parenthood, wedding, wedding day, wife