I’m pleased to have this essay featured on The Good Men Project
To my Dear Husband, Justin ~
Much attention is paid to the amazing bond between mother and child, as it should be. But the world needs to hear more about fathers like you, who have an equally intense parental instinct. I always knew you’d be that kind of dad. And yet, I still underestimated you.
I thought the most delicate baby care tasks would be mine;
But it was you who trimmed each tiny newborn fingernail
I expected this toddler stage to test your composure;
Now I see how tireless patience can be
I knew our child would have endless fun with you;
Turns out, the peals of laughter are equally yours
I spent hundreds of hours researching our parenting style;
But I learn more every day from your example…
You bring enthusiastic creativity to fatherhood, finding magic in ordinary things. Yesterday’s cardboard box flattens into a slide down the stairs. An evening walk is a crocodile hunt in a cowboy hat. Some old PVC pipes become a sprinkler tunnel in the yard. Bath time isn’t complete without bubbles and live guitar music.
You delight in his exploration, eagerly rediscovering through his eyes. Binoculars are on standby for the next owl sighting. An elaborate tower of blocks mysteriously appears while he sleeps. A heavy object inspires construction of a pulley system. The world is a toybox full of kites and parachutes, motors and magnets, water balloons and dismantled appliances.
You provide the safety net, letting him test his physical limits. No obstacle is too great, with the borrowed strength of Daddy’s arms. High-speed pursuits streak naked down the hall. Little feet balance on tall shoulders. Our superhero, Upside-down Boy, sticks the flying-giggle landing.
You make me proud, teaching our son that men are nurturing, emotional people. Tears are welcomed, even encouraged, because big boys do cry. Affection is showered, not earned, and correction is guidance, not anger. Mama’s flowers are delivered by toddler, so he can feel the warmth of a loving gesture. Lullabies are slow and sweet, like the one I hear you singing as I write this.
When I say “best dad ever,” I mean it quite sincerely. If there’s a better father out there, I simply cannot imagine what more he could be doing. I’m grateful for your genuine devotion, I’m inspired by your wholeheartedness, and I love you so very much.
Thank you for filling my life with the greatest gift… our son’s joy. Love, Megan