An Open Letter to My Husband on Father's Day...
It’s hard to know where to begin to thank you for all you do this Father’s Day. After almost exactly nine years of being in this world of parenthood together, we’ve had our share of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. As the only other person in the world that shares the depth of love that I have for our children, your partnership and understanding has been essential.
You are the only person in the world who knows how little we sleep. We’ve been through every stage under the sun to get our kids to sleep the way we like to imagine the rest of the world slumbers at night. You are my sleep circus team co-ringleader as we’ve rotated through babies and kids sleeping on me, in between us, and shoving us to the farthest ends of the bed. You are the only one who knows that having a king-sized bed actually means that we both sleep hanging off opposite edges of a mattress while angelic-looking, sleeping children pound us with flailing arms and legs if we dare to reach for an inch of space to stretch out from our respective opposite edges of our shrinking mattress.
Let’s not even discuss the two sweet cats who seem to double in size at night as they take our pillows from us as they happily snuggle between the kids and our assigned tiny edges of the bed. Or their contented purrs that sound like baby-sized lawn mowers perfectly positioned next to our ears. You don’t even utter a complaint when one of the cats feels the instinct to fish for our toes under the blanket as the very first light of day appears. Every. Single. Day.
You are the only person who I can flash a quick but decisive knowing glance to as one of our kids expresses something in a way that is so serious and important to them, but so funny or especially sweet to us. We hide our laughter and smiles and take turns responding while the other one takes a moment on the down low to cover the laughter.
You get the importance of not being bound by routine and of taking a random day trip instead of staying home to work on the yard or do the errands we should on the weekend. One of us can mention the need for a vacation or a need to live outside of the norm for a bit, and without hesitation, you and I can work together to plan our next family adventure.
We decided travel would be a priority for our family before our children were born, and you’ve hung in there through every stage of making this happen as we’ve brought our children out and about around the world together. We’ve worked through time changes and sleep disruptions and flight delays and lost luggage and eating out around the world with our kids in a way that can only happen when both parents are equally as invested in making adventure happen.
You know how important it is that we not forget who we were before we were parents because it is only when we can fully be who we are that we can parent together in the best way possible. You understand the importance of girls’ night and guys’ night and date night and travel. You remember who I was Before Kids and encourage me to follow my passions. We don’t hold each other back from being the people that we want to be.
You provide all of the silliness and laughs for the kids that is just not part of my DNA and something I cannot provide. We balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Even though it drives me crazy to hear you talk in your various pretend accents when you make believe you are “Matt” and “Simon” with the kids, I appreciate that you somehow find a way to be both their dad and their funny little brother and always show them the lighter side of life.
I’ll keep picking up your dirty underwear from the floor each morning if you keep picking up my slack. I’ll make sure to buy your favorite frozen burritos each week if you keep remembering to bring the trash out. It’s not always glamorous, but together we are a team. Your total trust in my ability to make big decisions for our family and for our kids gives me the fuel I need to be the best mom I can be. Your hard work every single day allows us to take the time we need together as a family and to explore our world as a tight family unit.
Much of the time, our days feel long and weekends feel short, but the years continue to fly by. With each passing year, I see the impact you have on our kids. I see your curiosity in our son and your silliness in our daughter. I see your sensitive nature and dedication to the people you love in both of them. I see your willingness to take chances and grow as a person as emerging qualities in the kids as they mature. I see the confidence and caring nature and ease in life in our two children that is a direct product of feeling loved beyond measure and fully supported by both of their parents.
Though I might not say it enough, know that you are the best father I could ever ask for for our children. We are creating the ultimate legacy in the raising of our children together. They are a little of you and a little of me and a magical mix that involves them growing into people who fascinate us and pull at our heartstrings every day. We are doing this together, and the three of us couldn’t be luckier to travel our life journeys always together with you.
Happy Father’s Day, Hubby!