When I married my husband, I married a husband. I married a husband whom I hoped would turn into a daddy, but I had no idea what that was going to mean. I married a man, who became my husband, and then became a daddy, and this is my homage to him:
Moms are so lucky. We get the advantage of the physical experience of growing a baby from the start. For us, the bond begins at conception, whether we know they are there yet, or not. From that very moment, our babies rely on US for everything. Our bodies and their bodies are one in the same for 40 whole weeks (or so).
I realized that somewhere in the midst of my first pregnancy, and started to feel bad for my husband. Someone had given us this wonderful book, “Oh Baby the Places You’ll Go,” a take on the Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” and thus my husband’s relationship with our babies began. Each night he would snuggle up to my rapidly growing bump and speak loudly into whatever area I had designated “the ear region.” With such a great attitude he would do this only because I asked him to, though I think he sort of liked it. The payoff came shortly after our first daughters birth when I was holding this fresh baby that I had carried for 40 weeks (and 3 days) and she heard her daddy’s voice, her head turned slowly, searching for that familiar tone. As sophisticated as the English language is, there has not yet been a word created to capture that brand of beauty.
I have a mental picture of my husband holding each of my babies for the first time. I know what he was wearing, what stage of growth his facial hair was in, what kind of hat he had on, but most importantly, I know the look of true love on his face. Even better, I know the feeling of love that swelled in my heart as I watched my husband become a dad. I had a front row seat for the formation of the father-child relationship. Every single time.
Daddies are sexy. It’s the truth. Daddy with baby in an Ergo carrier, sexy. Daddy pushing a stroller, sexy. Daddy with child on his shoulders, sexy. Daddy picking out cute little baby outfits, sexy. Daddy at the park, sexy. When moms change a diaper, there’s nothing sexy about it, but give a Dad a diaper, some Butt Paste, and a tub of wipes, and he could grace the cover of People’s 50 Sexiest Men.
My kids think their dad is pretty great, too. When Daddy comes home from a long day of work, my kids go running with an elated, “DADDY!” When all my babies were small, their first smiles of the day often came when daddy swooped them up in his arms… we called him, “funny man.” When I go a little heavy on the discipline, the first words that come back at me from the little ones, “I want Daddy.” Daddy is safety, fun, security, stability and pure, true love.
As Father’s day approaches, I wish I could simply do this, download all of the feelings and memories I have around watching my husband grow into daddy-hood to my husband’s emotional hard-drive, so he could know just how much he is loved and appreciated by all of us. Since that technology does not yet exist, I will share with him this blog post, and hope that he knows that this only scratches the surface of the love, respect, and admiration that I have for who he is to our children.
What will be in your love letter to the father of your children?