Today is the first Father’s Day I’ve had two daddies to be thankful for. The one that gave me life, and the one that gave me Mia.
It’s a funny thing when you have a baby…like, the actual moment that they come out. Because you look down at your precious little miracle and you think you couldn’t possibly love anything more in the entire world. And then you look over at your husband, and you see the look on his face (surprise, terror, tears, joy, adoration) and you fall in love again so hard that you can’t really describe it.
And then your dad walks in the room and looks at you, and you can see how proud of you he is, and for the first time you understand how much he actually loves you. And suddenly you realize, that you love him that much too. And you can’t believe your heart is big enough to hold so much love.
A few minutes later you look down and the doctor is putting stiches INSIDE your vagina and just like that all the love melts into a puddle on the floor and you say “who the FUCKS IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY?!!”
But back to the sappy stuff.
I’ve always had a special relationship with my dad. On the day I was born I looked him right in the eyes, unusual for an infant, and since then we’ve had a special bond that has yet to falter. He coached all of my soccer teams. He taught me the “spin move” that led to ULTIMATE DOMINATION in rec league basketball. He convinced me never to play hockey. He taught me how catch a “whoa nellie” wave on a boogie board. He let me drink beer before I was 21. He listened to me cry when my high school boyfriend broke up with me. And then he cried because he didn’t like to see me sad. He attempted to teach me how to drive a stick. He didn’t get mad when I said “fuck it” and bought an automatic. He went digging through the scrapyard to find new (original) window cranks for my 1991 Oldsmobile Ciera. He’s trusted every.single.decision I’ve ever made. Even when they were real nail biters. He loves me more than he loves anything in the entire world, except maybe my mom. And I really, really hope that he believes me when I tell him, that I love him that much too.
But today, my dad isn’t the only daddy I have to be thankful for. Because this year I have the incredible blessing of watching Dan become a daddy too.
The past 10 months have been a whirlwind of sleeplessness, love, joy, frustration, desperation, and acceptance. They have been filled with diapers, bottles, blowouts, giggles and moments of pure joy watching Mia reach for Dan. Smile at him. Say “dada.” Dan has always known he wanted to be a dad, and Mia is a lucky, lucky girl to have him watching over her, loving her, being patient with her and being so incredibly proud of her.
When it comes to parenting, my dad set the bar really, really high. I’m not sure I will ever be as great a parent as my parents were (are). But when I met Dan, I knew he could be. And watching him live up to those expectations is the greatest gift – for Mia, and for me.
Thank you Dan, for keeping me sane, for loving me anyway, and for loving Mia more than life itself.
Happy Father’s Day.