A Letter To My Husband On His First Father's Day
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A Letter To My Husband On His First Father's Day

A card just doesn't cut it.

A Letter To My Husband On His First Father's Day
thinkstock by getty images

Dear Husband,

There's so much to say that just can't be written in a Hallmark card; a million moments from the last 7 months that can't be jotted in a note or given in a gift.

First, let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for the silly things like being fun after dinner when I'm tired from the day; for playing games and being goofy, for getting dirty and messy. You come home from work and tidy up, still in your dress shirt and tie, because you see that I'm weary of picking up the same toys every hour. You are fun and energy and patience.

Thank you for the deeper things, too. Like when we were 2 weeks into parenthood and I told you I wasn't cut out to be a mother: "I just can't do this." You were the voice of confidence and reassurance in that scary transition time, as I became a mama. You encouraged me and praised me, even if all I did was make the bed that day. You helped me find delight in my motherhood in those early days when I was exhausted, overwhelmed and unsure. You were tired, too. You got up every night, changed diapers, got me water at 2 a.m.- but you never complained; you could see I needed you to be strong, so you were. You called me beautiful in my milk-stained pajamas with my hair unbrushed, with my postpartum body still in shock -- and you meant it. In those early days you felt that you couldn't do much as a father, but oh, you did more than you know.

Second, you are teaching me to be a better parent. You are teaching me that being present is better then being perfect. It's okay if you always put the diaper on crooked because you love our baby and changed his diaper - that is what matters. You don't see the clutter or dust-bunnies, you see the new things our son is learning daily. You aren't affected by "mommy-guilt," to have the perfect house, meal plan, and body; you are happy when we are cared for, loved, comfortable, and smiling. You don't expect Pinterest-worthy desserts or a perfectly behaved child; you value hugs and reading books and messy-faced babies. You are teaching me the importance of what it truly means to "let them be little," and let go of self-imposed, unrealistic expectations. You are easy-going, and children need that. You are full of grace and understanding, and children need that, too. I need that. We all need that.

So now you have a new title: father. You are defined by that word now because to our little boy, you are the world. It's a big role to fill; it's as intimidating as it is joyful. How do we do this? So many books. So many styles. So many decisions. I get overwhelmed, but you have showed me it's really all very simple: consistent presence. Love and grace is how children thrive. You haven't said it, you have exemplified it. Our children won't remember if they had perfectly matched outfits or a perfectly balanced meal every single day; they are going to remember how you paid attention when they talked about their favorite dinosaur, how you held them when they were frightened, how you helped them process a new place or situation, how you made them feel safe.

You aren't a perfect parent- there is no such thing. But you are a good man who puts his child's needs before his own, continually tries to do what is best, and seeks reconciliation when he is wrong; there's nothing more to being a great father than those few things. Our son can't talk yet, maybe by next Father's day, so for now I'll keep saying it for him: you're truly the best dad.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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