It’s Father’s Day, the day we celebrate all things “father’s”. As I let my husband sleep in for one of the few days of the year, I’m reflecting on him – who he is as a father, and what an amazing gift he is to each of our children. Here are 10 things I can be sure my children are learning from their dad, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
1. How to be a team.
These kids know – mom and dad are a team. Attempting to be on the same page about everything (note: this definitely doesn’t mean we 100% agree all of the time). We respect each other, and hold our kids to the same standard. We know each other’s strengths and let each other work to them. We also don’t hesitate to tag each other in and out. He has this ability to know the exact moment I’m about to implode and steps in to take over.
2. How to play rough.
He has no problem getting down and getting dirty with his kids. Actually – he thrives on it. Sometimes he lets them win, overflowing them with renewed self-confidence and sense of victory… Other times, he is sure to dominate, showing them how it feels to lose, one of those lessons in life that’s better to learn under the trusting arm of someone you love.
3. How to be silly.
The king of bedtime, he spends a lot of evenings tucking little people into bed, reading a story or two. Last night was one of those nights. I sat downstairs and listened to them over the baby monitor, where bedtime sounded a lot more like a night out at a comedy club than settling to sleep. He loves to change the words of the story to make the most outrageous sentences, keeping the kids on their toes.
4. How to be strong.
From opening a jar of pickles to doing push-ups with four kids on his back, their dad is the strongest person the world to them. A symbol of perseverance, even if he can’t do something – he shows them how to never give up, trying different things until he gets it right.
5. How to be fearless.
When it comes to being “afraid”, he lets them. He validates their fears, and in the same breath, motivates them to push through regardless. He has this uncanny ability to find the words when there are few. These words have gotten us through first days of school, sleepover parties, soccer games and birthday parties.
6. How to use your words.
Communication, communication, communication – we’re learning to do a lot of it. From what makes them happy to what makes them frustrated, he spends a lot of time talking with his kids – learning what makes them tick and helping them find those words that are hiding.
7. How to make time for the things you love.
Passionate about a whole bunch, he balances it all – and practices being present. When it’s family time, he is all about his family. But he doesn’t forget about his other interests. He makes sure to spend time doing the other things he loves, outside of his family, maintaining friendships and participating in extracurricular activities. After all, these are the things that are keeping him sane, shaping him as the wonderful father he is.
8. How to take turns.
He knows he’s not the only one passionate about a whole bunch, and balancing it all, has meant balancing me too. He understands my interests and makes time for me to do the same – maintain my sanity.
9. How to show grace.
His kids know their dad will always love them – he lets them know that there is nothing they could do that would stop him. He gives his undivided attention to each one – when afforded – and when they are in need of a little redirection, he always focuses that direction towards their actions, not WHO they are.
10. How to love.
He loves us fiercely and shows it. His kids know he loves their mom, unafraid to hold my hand, hug me and kiss me in front of them. His kids know he loves them, never turning down a snuggle, letting them know all that they mean to him, something they won’t really understand until they are parents themselves.
Sending my love out to all of the fathers like the one my kids have – we appreciate you, love you and couldn’t do this thing we call “life” without you.