As Father's Day approaches, I thought it would be nice to post a tribute (albeit brief) to the Father of the two most important people in my life. My husband, Dave.
When we got together, Dave already had two boys in their early teens and I think the idea of having more kids was WAY down on his list of priorities. He kept saying that if that was what I needed to make me happy then he was game. Whatever I wanted. But it always felt like something I was pushing on him. A burden he was willing to take on to give me what I had always dreamed of...a family!
Why am I saying this now, at Father's Day? Of course it doesn't sound the most endearing, but the truth is, when Nathaniel was born, I never once got this impression from him again. He and Nathaniel were almost instant buddies. From the very beginning they bonded and were inseparable. It doesn't hurt that I went back to work when Nathaniel was 10 weeks old and Dave stayed home with him during the day. When I got home from work he'd eat dinner with us and then hit the hay for a couple of hours of sleep before he went in at midnight to work a shift he had switched to (from his nice "comfy" day shift he'd worked almost 20 years to earn) just so Nathaniel wouldn't have to be raised by strangers. He got very little sleep that first year or so until he switched to an equally difficult evening shift that allowed for more Zzzz's but took him away from us at night while still giving him the opportunity to be home with Nathaniel during the day. I think the time they spent together all day long has been instrumental in their bonding and it's super sweet.
Taking on another child was not something Dave had wanted at first. In fact, I had sold and donated all of our baby stuff after being told, in no uncertain terms, that we would NOT be adding on to our brood. Obviously the idea of a new soft sweet face to nuzzle got the better of him and before we knew it our family of three had expanded to four. And he wouldn't want it any other way. It was a much more difficult task to take on but he has done so with minimal complaining on his part.
Dave is a fantastic father. He loves his boys so deeply and would give anything for them. I love the way he lights up when he's rehashing one of Nate's funny stories or how he calls me at work to tell me something amazing that Alex just accomplished. He's not afraid to praise a successful potty stop or fix a hopelessly broken train for the 15th time. He teaches Nate how to fix a turkey and takes both boys for rides on the lawnmower.
Dave cooks fantastic meals for our family, gives Nate his haircuts once every few months, he cleans spit up, poop, and spilled milk and kisses more than his share of boo boos in the course of a day. I love that I don't have to fill him in on the kids' napping schedule or remind him of what they like to eat before I run out. He doesn't have to call me to ask what Nate's trying to say or why Alex won't stop crying and what he should do about it. He knows his kids, he knows what they like, what works, what they eat and don't eat. I love that about him.
Of course there are times when I want to poke his eyes out for teaching Nathaniel how to fart or fake box or when he drops an f-bomb like it's nothing and forgets their impressionable ears. It drives me nuts that he lets them watch TV way more than I wish they did or that he doesn't see what's wrong with giving them pop tarts for breakfast every other morning. But I wouldn't trade him for the world! He is doing a fantastic job helping me raise our boys to be good people. I couldn't do it without him! We love you, Daddy!!