Friday, May 24, 2013

Who's Your Daddy?

There's no point in me buying a ticket and trying to win the lottery. The odds are stacked against me winning big again since I've hit the jackpot in the marriage department. Today marks my 16 year wedding anniversary. Wow. Hard to believe it's been that long. On one hand, it feels like only yesterday that David and I and fell in like and inevitably in love. Then again...it's hard to remember my life without him in it. I sometimes feel like my life really began in earnest on the day I met him. It was like living a two dimensional existence and then being thrust into the vividness and texture of the three dimensional life experience. Knowing and loving David has fundamentally changed me for the better. He is my favorite grown up and the best friend I have ever known. He is my hero and my sidekick all rolled in to one. He is my loyal confidante, my sounding board and an excellent snuggle partner. Simply: He is the love of my life. 
 
I had him all to myself for seven amazing years and then, thousands of prayers and tears and one miracle later, we became parents to a beautiful little brown-eyed boy who, in our eyes, was perfect in every way. Patrick changed our lives overnight and then when our precious twins, Mattie and Michael were born 2 1/2 years later, we were so delighted and thankful for our three healthy babies but man...at times we were like sleep deprived  zombies, bumping into each other occasionally on the way to change a diaper or burp a baby (or two). It has been an amazing blur of a ride ever since. Becoming a mother was such a deliciously mind-blowing experience. But for me, the best part has been observing the  transformation of my husband into the father that he is today. I've often said that if every child had a daddy like David, the world would be forever changed for the better. He's inspiring like that. I've told him he should write a book with his advice on how to be a loving and successful husband and father while managing a successful career. I know it would sell millions of copies. He would never have to work again. (But he would, anyway!)
 
Want to know why I say that? I say it because it's true and everyone who knows David would totally back me up on this one. He's a great dad because his toughest critics, his own kids, all say so. I just asked Michael to give me some words to describe his dad. He went on and on so I'll have to give you the short list: Fun, super-fun, kind, caring, quiet, dependable, hard working, cool, loving, strong and perfect. Quite the rave review, wouldn't you say? I happen to agree with Michael. He is all of those things. And more, although 'perfect' may be pushing it just a smidge. I mean...let's not get carried away, here, right?  :)

When I was Michael's age, my dad made rare, unexpected and whirlwind appearances into my life. It was awesome when he came around, don't get me wrong...but he was not a consistent presence in our lives. People would ask me, "Who's your daddy?" and I would have to say "you wouldn't know him. He's not from here. He doesn't live with us. I hated that. He always made me feel loved and treasured but then he was gone again. It often seemed like important pieces of my puzzle were missing. I never could quite put myself together again completely. I vowed to myself that when I had children, they would never feel that way. Incomplete. Not if I could help it. Thanks to my husband, when people ask my kids, "Who's your daddy?' They can answer with certainty and confidence that their daddy is their role model, their football coach, their mentor, their nerf-gun battle captain and teammate, their fishing partner, their counselor, their hard working, selfless provider, the magic mender of their hearts and hurts and countless other things I don't have room to list...the most important being: Loving, supportive and loyal husband to their mother.
 
I'm not na├»ve enough to believe that because of all the love, sacrifice, dedication, discipline and affection lavished upon my children by David and I, that they will automatically all turn out to be doctors or teachers or scientists or pastors or Olympic gymnasts or whatever, who never stray from the path and who always stay away from people or behaviors that might harm them. I know life doesn't work that way. They will mess up. Poor choices will be made. I will ceaselessly pray for them and try to train them up in the way they should go and then eventually, grudgingly and probably with much hand wringing and weeping, let them go out into the world and become who God has destined them to be. I believe and declare that my children will be mighty in the land. If they follow in their dad's footsteps, they will be headed in the right direction and will not depart from it.
 
My husband provides all of us with daily encouragement, daily prayer and the security of knowing that no matter what the world may throw at us, when it's all said and done, he is our firm foundation and our soft place to fall. He is the best of the very best of dads and we are exceedingly proud of him.
 
David from all of us, we wish you a happy and blessed Father's Day. We honor you and we love you with all of our hearts. Thank you for always being there even when you don't feel like it and thank you for never complaining or raising your voice when you do feel like it. We all believe in you and can't wait to see what great things you will accomplish next and are cheering you on every step of the way!
 
All our love, forever and then some...
 
Catherine, Patrick, Mattie, Michael
& Sparky
 
 

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