Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dear Jeff (Daddy)

After all my whining and complaining about my sweet girl’s devotion to her Daddy, I think it’s a good idea to express my thankfulness for their special bond, and my gratefulness for all Jeff does, don’t you?! (it’s about time!!) PS, I never thought I'd be one of "those" couples who call each other Mommy and Daddy, and yet, here I am ;)

Dear Jeff,

What a ride we’ve had this past 20 months, huh? Did you ever imagine all the joy another baby would bring into your and our lives? I mean, I imagined it, but it didn’t even come close to reality. At times I feel like I’m selfishly navigating our new world as parents to a teenager AND a baby. As if I know what’s best just because I’m “supposed” to have some sort of “mother’s intuition” or some such thing. Well how about the father’s intuition you’ve had for the past 15 years? When I first met you, even before I saw you with Cade, I could see what a great Daddy you were. Reading bedtime stories during Christmas break. Building snow forts. Playing legos forever and ever amen. Then I got to hang out with you both and it was a blast! I was so nervous to meet that boy who now feels like he’s never NOT been part of my life. He was in love with you, his Daddy. I have always been so in awe of what a great father you are.

And then came Olivia. You were so excited to meet her you thought the 9 months would last forever! She could not get here fast enough. When she finally did get here, you would just hold her on the couch for hours. You loved to hold her and snuggle her while she slept. It’s not easy to explain the effect that had on my heart. Seeing the man I love with this tiny human, a piece of both of us, so in love with her, so devoted to her. From those first two weeks of sleepless bliss, through the excruciating days and months of colic, to the adventures of toddlerhood, you have been the BEST Daddy. You wore a path in the rug walking her back and forth from bathroom fan to bathroom fan to try to stop the tears. You wore a scoop in the couch cousions, rocking her over and over to calm her down. Then a thousand months later, when the crying was FINALLY done, you walked her to and fro. Inside and outside. Up and down. Here and there. Our little girl loves to be on the move, even when she had to direct US to move her because she couldn't yet do it herself. And now you STILL go here and there with her. Where she points, you are! You never complain, although it can be tiring, giving undivided attention to a little person, hour after hour, day after day. There was also her first summer with non-stop togetherness. I think between all of that, she is hooked. She loves to be with you. She smiles the biggest and laughs the loudest with you. As soon as I get into the car with her after work, she says your name. As soon as we walk in the door she looks for you. And when she is sad, with tears in her eyes, and turned down lips, she calls for you. I think she feels most loved and most safe with you. She has the most fun with you. You have been a puppet, a school bus driver, a slide go-down-er, a swing pusher, a carrier (who needs an Ergo when you have Daddy??), you have entertained so I can get things done, you have followed and been led a thousand miles, you have colored and Mr. Potato Headed, and snacked and tumbled and read and pretended and played and diapered and on and on, always because of the great love you have for your daughter. For the desire, no actually I think intrinsic NEED you have to make her feel happy, loved and protected. If there are moments of frustration, exhaustion, confusion, you hide them from her. She knows she can count on her Daddy. For all the sadness I've expressed at not being her favorite, I am a million times more grateful that I have a husband who cares so much, loves to deeply, sacrifices so often, for our Olivia. No, for all of us. It has been easy at times and it has been very difficult at times. There are days we need time to ourselves, we are drained and tired and breaking, and days we just don’t get that. Yet you push through. You keep giving. We are so lucky. I hope her smile, giggle, outstretched arms, make you feel just as loved and as lucky as we all are because we have you. I hope, too, that you feel appreciated and loved by me. I am so thankful to be on this ride of parenthood with you. I hope Olivia (and Cade) will always feel that big love from you, will always know they can count on their Dad, will always stretch out their arms wide and run to you with smiles on their lips and hearts full of love.  Thank you, my love.