I can hear Deniece Williams singing this as the sequel to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” but I don’t think this post is that rhythmic. But these dads do love us, love us, love us. Let’s give the dads a hand!
I always joke that I want to be a dad when I grow up. They get to feed the kids the crap food when mom is gone. They get to take naps with the kids. It just always seems FUN. If I went out to the grocery store in jeans and a tee, no makeup on, hair undone with kids that were throwing complete fits over me not buying cookies people would scoff and think I was a complete mess. This has happened. When dad takes the kids to the store, unkempt, not on their best behavior everyone thinks it is absolutely adorable. It is. Sometimes I fail to remember that it truly is just as trying and just as much work, though. My husband was 3000 miles away when our oldest was born. He didn’t even know she was born yet, for that matter. I cannot imagine how hard that had to be for him. I was surrounded by helping and loving hands but a chunk of my heart was missing. Even then, I knew that me and our baby were happy and healthy and had an easy delivery. He knew none of this yet.
He was able to be there for our twin’s birth. He was able to see that our first twin was born happy and healthy. He was there when our second baby resulted in an emergency cesarean. He was there when I screamed at him not to leave her, to take off his shirt and hold her to his chest. I really was screaming too. What can I say? I needed him to take me seriously.
There he was. He had never held a newborn in his life. We didn’t live together until our first was 4 months old and we made the trip across the country. This is hard. This is not taking the kids to the grocery store and everyone thinking it is the most adorable thing they have ever seen.
The first time I truly realized how much hard work goes in to being a dad was when we were in the hospital. One twin was asleep, the other was nested in his arms. He had just changed her diaper and kneeled down with her to eat as fast as he could so he could get back to helping me. I was high as a kite from the medication they had me on from the cesarean. I was in a lot of pain and I needed a lot of help. Now, it could have been the drugs but I am pretty sure that he really was handling shit and doing it at lightning speed. Then it hit me, (not quite then, at this point I still thought unicorns were real) this is not the first time I had witnessed how much work goes in to being a dad.
My dad is not my biological father. He came in to my life at two and I hated him. Hate being the understatement of the year. He grew on me eventually but I didn’t want him to know it. He does not like pickles so I pretended not to like pickles too but would secretly sneak in to the refrigerator to drink the pickle juice at night. He would do my hair and take me to IHOP where everyone called my hair style a “daddy-do”. We even had matching ponytails. I didn’t realize it was hard work, yet a stranger decided to take responsibility for me.
My dad’s dad went on to be my best friend. My step-grandpa did everything I wanted and treated me like an absolute princess. Every Wednesday was a half day at my elementary school. He would pick me up and we would split a kids meal from Burger King and then we went to “Wally-World” to get me barrettes and socks. I had a very deep drawer dedicated to these barrettes and socks up to my ears. No blood relation and he took this time to spend with me. I had no idea how much that would mean to me later and how much hard work this was.
Fast forward 15 years…
My father-in-law does the same things. He works so hard to make sure that his kids (in-laws and extras included) knows what they are worth and that they are loved. I would go visit them on the weekends before we moved to be with my husband and he always made sure I was fed and he would take our oldest around with him so I had a little break and to bond with our sweet girl. He would literally carry her in one hand and go about his day with the other. This is hard work.
My dad would do anything to make these little girls happy. He took our oldest for her first ice cream cone at my favorite local joint back home. He shows off their pictures at work. He sent our oldest these purses that were really just paper bags. When the last one ripped this child gave inconsolable a whole new meaning. One phone call to California and grandpa had purses in the mail. This is hard work.
Here I was, surrounded by all of these men that put their hearts and so much hard work in to being dads and it took Dilaudid (a crazy strong drug) to realize this. I still joke that being a dad is easy but I’m literally writing this as my husband is bathing our twins and letting our 3 year old help. If you have a dad around you that you truly cherish like I do all of these men, remind them. Being a mom is hard work but doing it without them would be even harder. They too, are amazing.