A day late, but that's ok...you know how we do things around here.
Yesterday was Father's Day, which is kind of a big deal since it was Z's first Father's Day. I think a big difference between us is that I get a little wound up about these sorts of holidays and I think Zach just...doesn't. Which is fine, because I think he approaches it in a more "mothers/fathers/love/St. Patrick should be celebrated every day, not just on the designated holidays" (just kidding about St. Patrick. I think he's pretty ambivalent about ol' Patty, but I'll fact-check that later).
So I'm all "IT'S YOUR FIRST FATHER'S DAY!" and planning special meals (he wanted to grill out, but that leaves him doing most of the work, so tonight I'm extending the celebration and making his favorite risotto) and eagerly awaiting the arrival of his gift (which I may have ordered too late to get here on time, but I still faithfully checked the mail with great hope and expectation every day last week) and just generally being excited. And he just kind of smiles and goes about his normal day. And then brings me flowers. On HIS special day, he brings ME flowers. This is just how he is. And that's precisely why I feel so strongly about celebrating him, particularly on Father's Day.
When I think about the way he treats me, and realize that Zoe gets to grow up with a front-row seat to witnessing her daddy treat her mama with such care, patience, love and kindness, I just get overwhelmed with thankfulness. She will learn from an early age what to expect in terms of how men should treat her. And we pray for her future husband already, because those expectations will be (and should be) high. And not only that...not only will Zoe get to watch her dad be an incredible husband to me...she will get to experience him as a father, and she is in for a treat. Zach as a daddy is one of my favorite things in the entire world. He LOVES that baby girl. And she adores him. And when I watch him with her, I think "Oh little girl...you have no idea. You have no idea how much he loves you, how fiercely he will protect you, how far he will go for you, how sweetly he will treat you, how much he cares for you, how hard he works for you..."
Here's the beauty of this...Zoe is blessed with a dad like Zach because of the dads Zach and I were blessed with.
Zach's dad is steady, hard-working, loving, and will do absolutely anything for those he loves. Zach gets those solid qualities from his father. Because he grew up with a dad like his, he is very intentional about how he treats me and how he cares for our little family.
My dad set the bar high in terms of my expectations and experiences of how I should be treated...and he modeled such a beautiful picture of marriage for me and my brothers in how he treats our mom. He is wise, devoted, and invested (and continues to invest) so much time in his family. Because I grew up with a dad like him, I was very intentional about not settling for anything less when it came to choosing a partner for life.
Zoe gets the reap the benefits of having a father like Zach because Zach and I have such incredible fathers. To me, this is beautiful.*
So while, yes, fathers and mothers and love should be celebrated every day (and maybe St. Patrick too, we'll see), I particularly like these holidays that are an excuse to shine a spotlight on the things that maybe pass us by on the "everyday" road we're on. I like the fact that we get a calendar reminder to pull over and say "HEY! This thing that you're doing so well every day, that I appreciate so much about you, that I respect and love and cherish and feel HONORED to watch you do...it deserves a little extra attention, because sometimes on any given Wednesday I am tired or on any given Monday I am busy and I forget to let you know how much if means to me that you are being this amazing dad."
So let's celebrate the heck out of it. And use it as a reminder to celebrate these men in our lives and this dad thing they're doing more often than just the calendar-designated Sunday in June.
Happy Father's Day to the most amazing dads, the greatest blessings in our lives...the ones who raised us and who get to be the best Opa and Poppy IN THE WORLD to our sweet Zoe.
And Happy 1st Father's Day to Zach, who is the best dad to our daughter...I LOVE watching you be a daddy and I'm so excited to get to do this parenting thing with you. You're so good at it already and I know I will continue to learn so much from you as Zoe gets older and this parenting thing gets more complicated. I couldn't ask for a better partner in all of this.
*Please understand that I'm not saying that anyone who has a different experience with their father or father-figure can't or won't be a good father or marry a man who will be a great dad...this is not the case at all. I'm just speaking from my life and my experience. Yours may be different, and that can be beautiful too. There's no "better-than" scenario here.