It’s about to get sappy in here, so feel free to exit now while you still can, before the mush gets to you…
Nine months and eleven days. That’s how long we were husband and wife before we were parents. We were still adjusting to the roles of being married (though really it wasn’t too much different than the previous six and a half years together) when this little creature we created was thrust into our arms and wiggled his way into our hearts.
In the past 22 months, I’ve watched you dive head first into fatherhood. You’ve met the toughest toddler meltdowns head-on. You’ve kissed boo-boos. You’ve chased a naked toddler through the house. You’ve gotten out of bed, many times, in the wee hours of the night. You’ve changed some very funky smelling diapers. You’ve met every challenging moment with a mix of seriousness (as in “Is he seriously going to scream the whole way home?”) and humour (“At least he’s rear facing so the noise is being directed away from us?”)
You never took offence to my jokes of how inexperienced you
are were. Dean was the first baby you had ever held. His was the first diaper you’ve ever changed. But you have yet to bat an eye to any of the fun parenting moments you’ve encountered.
Sure, there was squealing and a lot of “really?!”‘s coming from the bathroom where Dean welcomed you into fatherhood by pooping and peeing in the bath – while you were sitting in the bath with him. But you (loudly, with many choice words that thankfully he was too young to learn to repeat) washed out the bathtub, rewashed the both of you and refused to mention it again.
You are his hero. You can tell this by the way he watches you and tries to mimic your actions. When you stood with one leg propped up on the garden bed and your arms crossed, Dean spent a good three minutes trying to balance with his leg propped up while figuring out how to cross his arms. You can tell by the way he lights up with excitement when your car pulls into the driveway and he starts screaming with laughter, the way he snuggles up to you during story time before bed. The way he stands on your back and bum-drops onto your head. Or the way he sneaks in and attacks you in the wee hours of the mornings on the days you’re supposed to get to sleep in.
You are my hero. You provide so much for the family. Not just financially. You step up and help when you know I’m exhausted. You take over when you know I am starting to get overwhelmed. You comfort me when it’s been a long day. You remind me that it’s okay to leave the laundry for another day. You’ve taught me how predictable I am at always choosing “rock” when we play Rock, Paper, Scissors when we both catch the stinky diaper at the same time.
Gone are the days of gaming until midnight, running out for coffee and then gaming some more. Gone are the days when you get to sleep in until noon, or later. Gone are the days where we can lounge around the house all day, not stepping foot outside once. And gone are the days where we could have TV series marathons and watch the entire series of CSI (all eight seasons!) within a weeks time, while moving.
Instead our lives consist of staying up until 10:30pm after “binging” on a TV show (a whole four episodes, because that’s all we could fit in after Dean went to bed) and sleeping in until 8am, when Dean escapes from the sucker who had to get up with him that morning and manages to open the bedroom door, scurry onto the bed and get at least 2.538 bum drops onto the person who got to “sleep in”. If we try to lounge around, we have shoes being thrown in our face by a demanding nearly-three-foot-tall demon who is demanding an adventure or to be let loose in the backyard.
But I know you wouldn’t change anything. Except maybe a bit of a later wake-up call.
I can’t believe we’re going to have two little monsters terrorizing the household… But I can only hope they turn out to be like you. Minus the terrible jokes and nerdiness…
Happy Father’s Day to a wonderful, loving and amazing father.
Your son(s) and wife love you very much.