I've "celebrated" my father on Father's Day over the years -- sometimes it was just a "Hey dad! How ya doing?" Other times it was chatting about the same old same old in person while munching on cheeseburgers. And like many once-angsty young buckeroos, I will admit that I sometimes wasn't the bestest daughter and I also never truly understood the magnitude of the day. This goes for Mother's Day, too, of course. It's not just a "holiday" to contribute to the zillion dollar card making industry. Sure I buy the cards because I'm a sucker for tradition, but it's more than that. Lightbulb is on.
Maybe I just know the importance of the day now that I am a mom (cue the sappy music), now that my husband is a father. We're just 18 months into parenthood and filled with wide-eyed excitement over any and every little thing our twins do, but seeing my husband as a father really does make me love him more.
And makes me see my dad in a whole new light. I know! Try not to get naseous, but my emo is on 11.
So NOW I totally get my father's pride for my accomplishments big and small. I look at baby photos of myself and can almost feel the excitement my parents must have had when they got the shot of me walking for the first time or holding up the piece of dog poop I found in the street as if I was a treasure (yes, this photo of a 2-year-old me does exist). My own entry into the wild ride of parenthood has allowed me to really reflect on the super awesome things my father has done for me and how even though there were times that stunk like poop and not of the cute variety, he is my dad and he taught me a lot and he loves me.
Of course my husband and I take those same kind of photos of our kids -- a gajillion of them. And no, we have yet too get the shot of them picking up dog poop (I hope we never do), but we do have photos of the first gummy smile, the time they hugged each other, and capturing those little moments make us totally in awe of the two little beings we created. "We made that!" we say and get all proud. My heart flutters when I see how he is with our kids, how kind and patient he can be even though he is terrible at being patient most times, particularly when I am trying to get ready to head out the door. Um, hello! Cool your jets, Mr. Rushy Rush! But with the kids, he's coolio.
I look at this guy, the one I said "I do" to with the hope that he would be a top of the class kind of dad and he hasn't let me down even though I totally lost interest in him sexually sometime during the third trimester of my pregnancy only to regain it around five months later with a vengeance. Oh! Maybe he isn't so impatient after all! Through it all, he still loves me and thinks I'm a great mom and shares my horror when we see forward facing car seats for infants. The fact that he points out how they should still be rear facing paired with the fantastical fact that he prepares fancy cookbook meals for me and the kids allows me to totally overlook the fact that dirt and dust bunnies are invisible to him.
Yes. I love him more now that he's a dad.
Happy Father's Day honey! And also to my dad, and to all the dads out there.
Image via Michele Zipp