When asked what he wanted to do today to honor him on Father’s Day, he answered that he wanted to see the kids smile. Not that he wanted a day to himself, or for me to take the kids off for the day, or to go do something specifically for him. He knew the new carousel at the mall would do the trick to get the kids smiling, so off we went, knowing full well the mall is not his favorite place. And smile they did, Taryn from ear to ear and we all got a good laugh at Teagan yelling “giddy up ELVIS”, the name of his horse. He smiled right along with him and I loved every moment of watching them. And throughout the day we laughed more as we talked about why the sky is blue, little boys who don’t yet understand the concept of the baby monitor and little girls who question gravity. We danced and played and read and laughed and ate lasagna. We changed diapers and fixed sippy cups and took kids to the potty and reminded Ty to do his chores. We cleaned and cooked and snuggled. And while we doted on Jase and appreciated him a little more than usual, he had no desire to take the day off, all he wanted to do was enjoy the 3 reasons he gets to celebrate today in the first place. And I fell in love with him a little more for it.
He was a daddy long before he ever “had” to be. He wanted Ty to have the love and foundation that he was blessed to grow up with. And once he and I were committed, he gave that to Ty, without being asked, unconditionally, unselfishly and has loved him as his own. To get to watch him be a daddy again and then again, to the younger years of life, has been filled with endearing moments and laughter. He’s shed the idea of being the perfect father and it has blessed our children. He shows them his strength, and his weakness, all with unconditional love, in a way that allows them to feel safe and confident in their own imperfections as well. To grow up thinking your parents never did anything wrong or make mistakes or that there were never really hard times or challenges and hurts or failures or changes that were really, really hard, would be like living in a pretty bubble only to have it popped when you are grown and arrive in the real world. It is a great balancing act to create a safe, loving, thriving environment for our kids while leading by example of how to handle all the hard, real, stuff that life throws at us. He does it with patience, and love, and a whole lot of laughter.