To my daughters, I’m basically chopped liver. They ignore me and give me little to no attention all day long (unless I’m in the bathroom or on the phone. Then I am The Only Person Left on Earth).
But their Dad? The moment his car pulls into the driveway at five o’clock, they literally drop whatever they are doing and sprint Usain Bolt-style to the back door, shouting, “DAD!!! DAD’S HOME! DAD!” They barely give the man a moment of peace once he’s in the door, climbing him like a tree, showering him with hugs and snuggles, begging him to chase or tickle them. Frankly, I can’t hold it against them.
I’m a daddy’s girl, too. I would be totally lost without my dad.
When my oldest daughter was ten months old, my husband was away on a business trip. Our carbon monoxide detector went off at 12:45 am. I immediately called my Dad. Before the Fire Department, even. His reaction was to tell me to hang up and call the Fire Department, as any logical, rational person would. But then, without me asking, there was my Dad, in my driveway in the middle of the night, three minutes after the fire truck arrived. He stayed until after they had left and my baby and I were back in bed. He is my superhero.
I recognize that not every Dad is a good one, that some of them even shirk their parental responsibilities altogether. I feel endlessly fortunate that I have excellent men in my life. They deserve some real credit.
Daddy, you probably won’t ever read this, but I love you. Thank you for your advice, support, and love. I will always be in awe of your intelligence, critical thinking, and business acumen. I know I can always count on you. I love the way you are a fun and doting grandpa and I am so thankful my girls know you. They have the best Papa because I have the best Dad.
To my own husband: you are the kind of dad women dream about their children having. It is inspiring to watch you be a father. Our girls are learning how to love and trust through watching you and experiencing your love and patience. You are a gift in our lives. We adore you.
So here’s to the men that love their kids something fierce and want to spend as much time with them as possible. Here’s to the men who rock babies in the night and change diapers, even if they dry heave a little. Here’s to the men who run to their (grown) children’s aid in the middle of the night. Here’s to the men who support their baby mamas emotionally and in countless other ways throughout the roller coaster of parenthood. Here’s to the men that bust their behinds at work and at home. Here’s to the men who tickle and chase and coach and hug and listen. Moms and kids are watching. We see you. We are grateful for you.