I’ve never been a fan of Father’s Day. It has forever been a reminder of the relationship I missed out on in life. I was never Daddy’s girl and I had envy for the longest time of those that were. For a majority of my life, I dreaded this time of year because it would be impossible to ignore the fact that I would try to force somewhat of a relationship with a man that needed everything on his terms. I would try to find a card that was appropriate for the man that is responsible for bringing me into this world. Father’s Day is the big day I’m supposed to express enormous amounts of gratitude and love for a man that supported me, lifted me up, loved me unconditionally for all that I am and aspired to be regardless of that fact that I didn’t fit the mold he so wanted me to. Except there were never any cards for the man that didn’t do any of that, which was what I really needed. I’m not writing this to relive my childhood or all that led up to me deciding I’m healthier leaving the toxicity of that relationship for me behind. It’s just the first Father’s Day in my existence on this earth that I’m looking at it in a different way because of one man….My Husband.
My views on marriage and family were not the best as a young adult. I wasn’t witness to the healthiest marriage and relationship growing up and I know what it’s like to want your parents to divorce because you constantly had a pit in your stomach when the whole family was at home because it was anything but peaceful. I assumed all relationships were like that. I brought a lot of crap and insecurity into any relationship I attempted. I dated some really good guys, some really horrible guys, but somehow I ended up with the best guy……My Husband.
My husband has the patience of a Saint, a heart of gold and is a man of his word all mixed together with a toughness and stubbornness that matches mine and I’m extremely stubborn to give you somewhat of a gage here! I met my match when I met him. Family was everything to him and his friends were kids that were more like brothers because they literally were in diapers together. I loved all of that about him but yet it was hard for me to understand a lot because we grew up so differently. I had my guard up constantly, expected the worst from people and counted on being let down, and for the most part, my expectations were always met. My husband trusts people until they give him a reason not to, expects people to give him the respect he gives and I noticed that this was working out amazingly well for him….GO FIGURE!
I knew he would be an amazing father one day, and when that day came he was even more amazing than I could have ever imagined. We had our son first and he has been on the move since day one. You never knew where that kid was going to run to and climb up and you still don’t 9 years later. He’s consistently offered us a daily workout without ever really having to carve it in! Sleep deprivation and coffee were the two constants in our life. We worked through the feelings and emotions that parents experience with an Autism diagnosis together. It wasn’t easy. We were not always on the same page and sometimes didn’t like each other very much, but we both had to process it in our own way. However, the unconditional love, commitment and support to give everything that our son needed in every way was always there. I was fortunate to have had stability of a roof being over my head and plenty of food in our cabinets as a child. My Father was a very hard worker and I would never take that away from him. But parenting is SO much more than earning a paycheck and that is what makes being a mother or father one of the hardest and best jobs ever. Children need to know that you love them for all that they are and for the person God intended them to be, not for who you intended them to be. I felt an insanely intense love for my son the moment I laid eyes on him, but to see a man, My husband and son’s father, love him the way I do through all the good and bad times, has been something I needed to witness. To watch the patience, the commitment, the love constantly demonstrated even in the hardest moments has helped me to see what a good father does. I never understood or experienced love “in good times and in bad” until my husband.
Our daughter was born a few years after our son and I once again got to experience that crazy intense motherly love that took over me the minute I laid eyes on her. We have such a special relationship together and it’s something that warms my heart and fills me up like I can’t explain. She’s basically me in a smaller body and to watch her grow and become who she is has been so much fun to watch. She has brought me so much happiness and has given me the joy of watching her be “Daddy’s Girl” and seeing the special bond she and her father have. The best part is that I have the security and comfort in knowing that her father will always love her even when she really starts to come into her own person and might have differing views from us on all aspects of life. He loves her always and is always there to remind her how incredible she is, to lift her up and to be the best that she can be. He believes in her. He teaches her that failure is a part of life and it makes you stronger and work harder for what you want. He teaches her to believe in something bigger than yourself. He teaches her to love and respect everyone no matter who they are, what they are or where they came from. All humans deserve respect, love and a chance as long as they treat you with the same. And if they don’t give you any of that, don’t take it personal, just move on and keeping being you. Most importantly is that her father doesn’t just talk the talk but he walks the walk by being a living example daily of all that he teaches our children.
Her face lights up as she runs to him and jumps in his arms when he surprises her at a school pickup. She gets all dressed up to head on Daddy/Daughter dates. She makes him special cards all of the time. My favorite moments are when she asks when Daddy is coming home or begs her Daddy to skip a once a week band practice night because she loves his presence in our home. She loves all of us being together.
One night not too long ago as I laid in her bed with me, she told me that she loves how her father and I love each other and she loves when we’re all together. She went on to say how she has the best Daddy in the world and that I’m the best Mommy ever. She told me she loves her brother and how funny he is. I can’t explain what that did for me. We have many nightly bedtime conversations as she tries to put off actual sleep, but this one really got to me. I laid awake for quite some time that night thinking about how I would have loved to have felt that comfort as a little girl and how happy I am that it’s my daughter that said and feels that. I didn’t know that peace as a little girl, but the fact that I know my daughter does is a blessing to me. The biggest blessing is that it wasn’t always easy for her Father and I. Life has thrown us some doozies and I had to learn about unconditional love and what that looks like in a relationship with a man. I needed to learn to let my guard down and that not everyone was out to hurt me. I needed to learn about trust and that I didn’t have to make sure I was the first to leave to ensure that I never had to experience someone turning their back on me or rejecting me again. I needed to see and experience what a healthy relationship is. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight. Because of my husband having the patience of a saint and being the person that he is, he stuck by me and allowed me the time to learn and experience all of this with him.
As a young girl to get through some tougher nights at home, I’d stay in my room and constantly imagine what my life would be like when I was older and on my own. I would picture this perfect and happy family. That picture I created in my head all of those years ago screwed me up quite a few times along the way because real life didn’t play out like I had pictured it in my young mind. I never imagined tough times in those day dreams because I didn’t know you could have tough times and still have true love. I thought you had to be perfect for love. I’m happy to report that after almost 13 years of marriage, 2 kids, a crazy dog, many ups and downs and consistently looking like a train wreck, I now really understand the meaning of love, trust, family and what that looks like in a good and healthy marriage. I have one person to thank for that………My Beautiful Husband.
Thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for being an incredible example of a Father and Man. Thank you for being you. I love you.