I married Ed when I was 20. I’ve talked about that a lot. I’ve talked about marriage and relationships and parenting.
I knew what I was doing. I made that decision partly clouded by the stars and rainbows that float through the sky when you’re young and in love, and partly with the absolute clarity that comes with growing up well in advance of the other kids and analyzing everything to do the death because you were dealt a different (health) card in life.
I knew what kind of person he was and what kind of father he’d be when we were ready to take that step in life.
When I met him, Ed didn’t have a dad. He hadn’t had a dad in long time. His dads were alive, but they’d gone the way of a lot of fathers who don’t do the right thing – they’d disappeared. He hadn’t seen his bio dad since he was a child and his stepdad since he was in college. It’s one thing – and completely understandable in both cases – to leave a wife. It’s another to leave a child.
Ed didn’t have much of a relationship with his mom. He hadn’t talked to her in quite a long time.
None of these things were his doing or fault, and as an admittedly critical person, I don’t say that lightly. Sometimes, you’re just not as lucky in the parental department as you wish you were.
And these things, whether the person is at fault or not, are sometimes reasons to really think on whether past experiences will affect future decisions. I was marrying someone whose two dads had been unfaithful to his mom and had abandoned their children.
I had absolutely no doubt. I knew I was marrying someone who, once a father, would be the most committed father there was.
I knew he’d love his kids more than anything. I knew that even if our marriage didn’t last for some reason, he’d always be a dad.
And now we have kids. And he’s just that. A committed dad who will always be a dad.
From the minute he held each of our babies, he was their dad.
He was committed.
He loved his babies with all of his heart.
He promised them he’d never leave.
And I know that he won’t.
I’ve read articles lately about how women should stop gushing over men for doing what they should do – being good dads. How it’s the bare minimum, how it should be expected.
And to that, I say that it should absolutely be expected.
My husband cares for our children. He doesn’t babysit them.
My husband co-parents. We both work and we share responsibility.
He changed diapers when they were babies.
He dries tears now that they’re “kids.”
He’s drops them off at school in the mornings, he attends conferences, he helps them with homework.
He loves them.
He’s a good dad.
An I do appreciate that. To anyone who says that it’s expected, I agree. I absolutely expect it. I wouldn’t remain married to him if circumstances were different.
But to anyone who says that we shouldn’t talk about it, shouldn’t appreciate it openly, shouldn’t find it an attractive quality in our partners, I couldn’t disagree more.
Happy Father’s Day, Ed. You’re even better than the kind of dad you hoped you’d be one day. I appreciate you today and every day.