Although Father’s Day has come and gone, I wanted to include a little tribute to my husband James. In the same way we like to celebrate our birthday all month long (any excuse to eat cake is a good one), why not continue the celebration of dads?
Step into the time machine with me. I wrote this 8 years ago, when I had a baby and a toddler. My first book had not been published and I was surrounded by Thomas the Train vehicles. Here’s what I wrote about the happy husband:
I have to admit it. As a mom, I hide in the bathroom to get a few quiet minutes away from my toddler and baby. But my husband has never hid in the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter. When it comes to parenting, he’s fully engaged and relentless.
When we were dating and starry-eyed, I could already see that James would be a great father. One day, we were picnicking and he asked me what I thought about having a dozen kids. I thought for sure he was joking, but he pressed the question. As an only child, I thought that was about 10 kids more than I could handle. Now after seeing how my husband cares for our two kids with boundless energy and affection, I guess he might be able to handle a dozen!
When my 18-month-old girl stands up in her crib and screams, I send in the big guns. My husband walks in there and chops her down like a fallen tree. He tells her sternly, “Go to sleep,” and like magic, she lays there, quiet as a mouse.
When my 3-year-old boy is stomping because he didn’t get his way, my husband doesn’t disengage and leave the parenting to mom. No way – he’s ready for the opportunity to teach and correct. One of his mottos is, “Don’t wait, create!” At home, my husband puts our kids through the paces, teaching them to “hold hands with daddy,” “give that back to daddy,” “stop” and “go.” Because of my husband’s training, I’ve never had to endure a tantrum at the grocery store or fear my toddler breaking free from my grasp in a parking lot.
Not only is my husband a great trainer, he knows how to have a good time. In the evening when I’m sitting at the computer, I’ll look down to see a huge comforter moving towards me very slowly, with little giggles underneath it. When the creatures underneath are within striking distance, the comforter flips up to reveal my husband and our little kids, ready to tickle me.
When I asked my father-in-law what it was like to raise four children (my husband was the youngest), his reply was honest. “I missed it,” he admitted. “I was too busy working.” My husband’s story will be vastly different. He knows that love is spelled T-I-M-E. When my husband hears Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s in the Cradle” about a father who was too busy to spend time with his son, he will have no guilt. No regrets.
My husband often asks our toddler, “Are you a champ? Or a super champ?” If my son grows up to be anything like his father, he’ll be a super champ for sure!
Thank you James for being a great father!
Friends, why don’t you take a moment to write your husband a note about the things you appreciate about his parenting? Your words of encouragement may be just what he needs today.