The Way of a Father

I have been blessed to experience the close presence of two amazing fathers in my life: my own father and my husband. I have learned so many things from both of these men: the value of being strong when times are tough, the importance of hard work, sacrificing for your children and how it feels to know you are safe. Growing up, and to this day I have always considered myself a "Daddy's Girl". Even at a young age I appreciated my Dad's honesty- it was always humbling and maturing to hear what you needed to, versus what you wanted to. My father was concerned more about developing my character than telling me what would let me only feel momentarily happiness. But there were still those moments where he would treat me to special gifts: a date over a small bag of chips and a chocolate milk, a new pink bike with spokes (remember those?), a new animal, especially a baby animal from our farm, a gentle hug, kiss, or a meaningful apology when needed. My father has the hardest exterior, but the softest core. I am very lucky to have grown up with a father who always showed me love and worked very hard to give his family the best he could, which was a lot. My father is a teacher at heart and even now I am restless making a decision unless I can have his advice to guide me. My father is also a man of God. I owe my early interest in having a relationship with God to witnessing my father so involved in our church, the first volunteer to pray at any function, the one who would get his food last so others could get fed, the one who purchased almanacs of sorts to further analyze words in the Bible, and the expectation he placed on us to go to church, every Sunday, even when we would rather sleep in. I love my Dad for many things, but I am most thankful for the way in which he showed me how to love God.

My husband waited through some very difficult times to become a father. During our time of loss, where we just couldn't seem to hold on to our babies, he was a rock. I was a mess- and he was the one who would take care of me, the house, the dog, and keep our lives afloat. I have no doubt that the pain I felt so strongly was shared by him, but he had this amazing ability to keep it more under the surface and only bring it out when he had alone time. I was so excited on the day we found out that our son would be coming to live with us, not just because I would become a mom, but more so because I was eager to see Adam be a Dad. He said to me once that he was worried he may not know how to do it, because his own father had died when he was so young. This sentiment shows not only how much he thought about becoming a dad, but this fear he had about whether he would be a good Dad, meant he would be. Because Adam is always thinking about others before himself. There has not been a day in our marriage, or his time as a Dad, where he made a decision selfishly. One of the main reasons I married Adam is because I knew our children would always feel loved, protected and safe with him, even when I could not fulfill those qualities. When Pierce came into our lives, Adam melted into the experience of loving a child more than himself and differently than the way he loves me. The way he loves our son makes me love him even more than I thought I could. They have this special bond that is such a blessing to see. Pierce loves his Daddy for being fun, funny, and able to match his own energy level. Pierce loves his Daddy because he always wants to play with him, build with legos, eat treats together, or read books (after book...after books...after books...). I watch Adam stare lovingly at Pierce. When he looks at him he does this borderline dorky grin that speaks how grateful he is for him. I love my husband for many things, but I am most thankful for the way in which he takes care of our son.

To all the father's out there who may be reading this. Know that you're job is so very important. Know that you make a great impact on not only your children, but your wives and partners who get to see the way you love your children. You are loved, you are necessary, you are worthy of gratitude. Happy Father's Day to my Father, and my Husband!!!

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