To the husbands. To the fathers... This is what we forget to tell you.
I hear you with our child in the other room, the music of your laughter mixed with hers the most beautiful sound I know. The vibrating baritone of your voice in perfect sync with the joyful bubble of hers–a domestic symphony, the soundtrack to our family’s happiness. You carry the weight of our hopes and dreams, but you always leave it at the front door. Your capable arms hold our world together, and your cheeky grin lights it up. The boy who won my heart piece-by-piece all those years ago–so much the man now as you coo at the baby or carry your small girl around the house upside down. Games of catch, tickles, dive-for-shells and building sandcastles; early mornings snuggled down in a fort of your making, with milk and cartoons while mama sleeps; your secret handshake; the way she looks at you. Our world would be so very much less without your sense of adventure and love of fun. While I turn the cogs of our day-to-day existence I hope I never forget to let you know how much joy your silhouette at the front door brings at the end of each day. Your daughters’ faces light up at your return and my heart does too. No matter what troubles you leave behind in your day job, you come home never less than fired up to do your other one, to make your girls laugh, to lighten my load, to bring the happy. The stay-at-home mom is an unpredictable creature. You never know what to expect at the end of each day. I hope the sight of me makes you smile–even if only in its ridiculousness as I reach into the fridge for the bottle of wine as bedtime nears. I hope I remember to ask you how your day was, look you in the eye, make you feel seen. On the days I don’t, I hope you know I meant to. Thank you for making me feel like there’s nowhere you’d rather be when you walk through the front door at the end of each day. Thank you for your hand on the small of my back when you can tell its been a rough one, and the muffled, “What can I do?” when the baby cries to feed in the small hours. Thank you for filling our children’s lives with joy. Our 3-year-old lives to have fun and that’s because you’ve taught her she can. Thank you for making her laugh unreservedly from deep, deep down in her soul–the only way she knows how. Thank you for listening to her without distraction as she tells you about her day. She has been storing up her stories about every butterfly, flower, rock and picture just for you, and you make her feel like the wait to tell them was worth it. Thank you for understanding all the times I haven’t said thank you. I appreciate you every moment of every day, even–or especially–when I don’t tell you so. Thank you for the times you’ve said thank you to me. You may forget those two little words as soon as they’ve left your mouth but they are what keep me going when it all gets a bit much. Your eyes meet mine over the tops of their heads. A shared smile, a mutual understanding of what we both hold most precious in this world. To the dads we forget to give credit to, the husbands we forget to show how much we adore, you are not just our childrens’ heroes but you’re ours too. In case we forget to tell you–because we will definitely forget to tell you–you make the whole world turn round.