One of my more popular posts is A Thank You Notes to Moms. So for Father’s Day, here is A Thank You Note to Dads, but this thank you note has a twist, it’s not from the kiddos, it’s from Mom.
Dads, one day years from now, perhaps you can imagine your children being grateful, sincerely grateful, for all you do for them. One day they may write their own thank you note to you, but this is a thank you note to dads from us, your loving wives and partners in parenting. A note you can appreciate now before you take a nap, go golfing or crack open a beer for Father’s Day. Yeah, go ahead, you deserve it!
We Moms admit, that far too often we take you for granted; we’re too quick to huff or point out something you haven’t done or something you’ve done “wrong.”
In the hectic pace of the days, the blur of weeks and the racing into months, we forget to slow down and recognize all the things you have done. We can forget to acknowledge all the many things you do right and well. So here is a big thank you for all you do for us and our families.
A Thank You Note to Dads
Dear Honey (aka Sweetie, Hon, Love, Fill-in-the-Blank) –
Thanks for being by my side when we became parents. I’m grateful we were together to figure out a newborn, to bathe a slippery infant and to pace in shifts through the dark of nights. Thank you for shushing a crying baby and soothing a sobbing Mommy simultaneously, and for fetching every little thing while I was hooked up to a baby or a breast pump. Thanks for changing diapers, for clipping papery fingernails when I was nervous, for wrapping the best swaddle and for being a true partner to me as we added to our family.
Thanks for being fully engaged. It makes my heart burst to see you reading, cuddling, dancing or constructing model airplanes with our kids. My heart swells to hear you share a bit of wisdom or a childhood memory, to hear you make up a song especially for one child, to hear you award a well-earned compliment or sing a jingle from the 70’s. Your way with them is different from mine and I appreciate that, someday, they will, too.
While I’ve watched you organize a tree climbing race, fly a baby through the air or swing her to the moon, sometimes my stomach lurched, but I know it’s important for the kids to have another way of experiencing life. First bike rides, sleds whipping in icy circles, experiments with building towers and exploding baking soda, all give the kids a part of you, and that makes me smile.
I love you for doing all those stinky jobs like throwing away dead mice, crawling into the attic, cleaning kid’s throw-up, and lugging in everything from the car after a weekend away. And I love you for doing all those precious things that make our house a home like cutting down our Christmas tree, lighting a cozy fire (while teaching our kids first “hot,” then how to build one) and doing small repairs and big projects (while teaching our kids pride, respect and how to use a screwdriver.)
It’s amazing to me how you can pull the kids into any task at any age and teach them life lessons while they’re having fun. They grow up beside you and know without a doubt that you love them and value them; they know that their Dad believes in them and likes being with them. What an incredible gift.
You set positive examples, grand and small, for both our daughters and our sons. They know that men cook (and damn good, too!), they know that men clean up, fold laundry, clean toilets (every so often) and that there are no rigid definitions of what girls and boys can or cannot do. Our children witness you treating me with love. They have a model of how to love and how to expect to be loved. You show them daily that Dads are nurturers, boo-boo healers and snugglers as well as disciplinarians, jungle-gyms and joke tellers.
Thanks (?) for teaching the kids to burp letters, to make sounds under their armpits and to take a half hour to poop. Thanks for laughing whenever the word fart is uttered. Seriously? Still? Every time?
Thank you for taking over all the times you’ve arrived home from work to hear, “I’m DONE! Here, take the baby/child/teen – I need to be alone!” Thanks for those days, still, when I’m at the end of my rope and you swoop in with a calm patience to manage a cranky kid or feisty teen. I marvel at how you can make a job they dread into a fun game or how you can redirect a bubbling bickering match into a drawing contest.
Thank you for figuring out the new way to do math so I don’t have to, for coaching the team, for driving a forgotten assignment to school (again). Thank you for cheering for all of us whether on the courts, fields, stages, classrooms or boardrooms. Your support and encouragement lift us higher. Our lives are better in every way because of you.
I’m proud of you. I’m proud of the family we have created. I’m thankful to have you and wouldn’t want anyone else to walk beside be, hand in hand, as we voyage through parenthood, and someday, into grand-parenthood.
I live you. I love you.
Just the way you are, I love you.
Your Wife, Best Friend, True Companion