11,066 days. That’s how long you’ve been a dad. Daily, you go above and beyond and show our children, by just being you, how to do the right thing all the time. You are the perfect mix of serious and funny, father and friend.
Thank you for all the things you do that seemingly go unnoticed. These memories are all tucked away in my mind like a perfectly wrapped gift. From the first day of fatherhood till now, you have given us the gift of you. Thank you.
And guess what. I noticed.
Katie. I will never forget how you held her as she got shot after shot at the pediatrician’s office. She was barely two and she looked you straight in the eyes while she screamed “Daddy.” I didn’t want to be the bad guy so you stepped in. I know it broke your heart.
She got you back though, as you sat quietly and lovingly while she painted your nails and put barrettes in your hair. Did you know that most dads wouldn’t do that? You are strong yet so gentle.
MaryEllen. As I was being wheeled into the operating room for an emergency c-section, pretty sure I would never make it out of there, and too sick to have you by my side, you stood strong and weathered the scary days of having a very sick wife and baby. You were only 26. As I look back now, I wonder how you held it together. I know. You did it for us.
Then, because I was still too sick to do much, you took our baby girl, alone, to doctor after doctor, only to receive bad news every time. How did you do that alone? You always came home stoic and unbroken. I am in awe of those qualities every day.
Kevin. Our beautiful first son. You knew, didn’t you? When every doctor at the hospital thought we were crazy and said Kevin was fine, you knew otherwise. And again, I was too sick to do much so off you went from doctor to doctor receiving bad news over and over, by yourself. How did you keep it together while telling me our baby boy had cataracts too and would need surgery immediately to save any vision he may have? How could you be so strong while I was falling apart? I know it wasn’t easy.
James. It was amazing, wasn’t it? God’s perfect plan. From the first day we knew we would be parents again to that unbelievable day in August, your birthday, we picked him up. There was no way I could give you a birthday gift that would top that, so James was your birthday gift that year. Cigars, decorated in blue, adorned with “It’s a boy,” enjoyed poolside. I will always remember that. There were no crazy doctor’s appointments and no bad news, just typical baby stuff. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!
How many fathers actually save their child’s life? Not many. You can do a trach change with your eyes closed. You change G-tubes like nobody’s business. You are always 10 steps ahead when it comes to the safety of our family.
And yes, the little things don’t go unnoticed, either. You do all the dirty jobs with a smile. You’ve cleaned up dog poop, kid vomit, baby boogers, toilet backups, and more. You’ve pulled all nighters at home, hospital and work, without complaint. You make being a dad look easy.
I know it isn’t, because I noticed.
Happy Father’s Day.