The other night, I watched you and our daughter through the window as you played in the backyard. As you swung her through the evening air, inspected bugs and raced through the grass, one thing became increasingly clear to me―you are, in every way, her hero.
Truthfully, you're mine, too.
Watching you made me think of all the things you do, big and small, that help us get through our day. It might be taking out the garbage, it might be waking up with the girls and reading together so I can get an extra hour of sleep, it might be driving an hour to and from work every day to support us.
And, like so many heroes, your work often goes largely unpraised―and sometimes unnoticed—especially by our little girls. But I hope you know I see you. And as our children grow, I see so much of you in them.
You are, and have always been, so kind.
Whether you're rescuing a beetle in the house (that I probably would have just flushed) or stooping down to masterfully pull a splinter from our toddler's heal, everything you do is done with such gentleness. You laugh at our 3-year-old's silly jokes. You teach both girls about loving each other as sisters. And you still find time to thank me for all I do for the family. I know our children will be as kind as you are as adults.
You are, and always have been, so strong.
And I'm not just talking about your ability to carry our baby's car seat four city blocks―though I really appreciate when you do that! You also carry my emotional burdens. You listen to me during the moments when motherhood breaks me down or step in when a tantrum threatens to undo me. You take the responsibilities of fatherhood seriously, and I've never wondered whether or not you would step up to the plate when needed.
You are, and always have been, so fun.
You're the parent who doesn't tell them to "be careful" and thinks there should be no limit to how high they go on the swing. You swirl them in the pool and play "tickle monster" and chase them around the living room as they shriek and giggle and beg for more. You're the one who teaches them about hockey and playing guitar and all the other hobbies where my expertise (or lack thereof) would fail them. When they remember their childhood, I know so many of the happy moments will be forever tied up in you.
The best part of seeing all these good things in you is seeing them shine through in our children. Our daughters are so kind, strong and fun―and the older they get, the more I see your favorite things becoming theirs as well.
So, when I thought about what to get you this Father's Day, I wanted to make sure it honored you as the hero of our family. Nothing seemed more perfect than a gift for you and our girls to share a personalized Daddy edition of the When My Child Grows Up book.
I came across a Hooray Heroes video a few days ago on Facebook and was touched by the reactions of dads receiving their own books. I love the idea of personalizing our kids (and even you as their dad!) in a book that captures not only the special relationship you have with our children, but also shows how those dreams you inspire today could become our children's future. No matter which path they choose, I know they will always look to you for inspiration and guidance and this adorable book will remain our family keepsake forever. I can't wait to see you reading this story together, I know our girls will love the personalized illustrations that look just like them.
There are so many dreams I have for our children when they grow up, but regardless of what their profession turns out to be, I know they'll always remember what an incredible father you are and always have been. You'll always be our hero.
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