Moms have it easy in the ‘value recognition’ department. I mean, with good reason! There’s no competing with the fact that most moms essentially grew a little parasite inside and then birthed it in one of two very horrifying ways. So really, I’m with everyone… we deserve every bit of the lead role where appreciation for things done well is concerned.
But you know who else does a gob-smacking-ly good job these days? The dads.
I was daddy’s girl through and through when I was growing up. My dad took great pleasure in telling people that my daddy’s girl-ness was so deeply subliminal that I would even cry out ‘Dad’ when I was hurt or afraid, instead of the more common ‘Mommy’. My dad belonged to a different generation though. He’ll nod along with me from heaven and agree he wasn’t much help on the operational parenting. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom and she did most of it. His role came in once we were a bit older and he imparted tons of knowledge, wisdom and emotional support. He rooted for us, drove us around endlessly was always there when we needed him. He gave up the job of his life in remote Africa so he could come back and live with his girls. He was awesome! And I will remain daddy’s girl long after he has gone.
My husband though… He is a stellar example of fatherhood. Truly. I’m not regularly sentimental but some things make me gush.
He got right in there from day 1. He was far more comfortable with that little body than I was at first. One of the earliest things he said to me, when I was struggling with the breastfeeding dealie, was, “you focus on the input, I’ll take care of output”. So I literally never cleaned a diaper, when he was around, for many months.
What started there keeps going and as her needs evolve, so do his skills. He takes her on the TTC, in the heavy throngs of rush-hour, for daycare drop-off near his work. He drops in on her when she’s cranky or under the weather. He listens patiently and answers her two million questions a day. He teaches her big life lessons in a super matter of fact way that she gets. He talks to her like she’s an actual person and tells her his hopes and dreams. He watches her little cartoons with her and sings the songs she likes. He makes up bedtime stories for her. They roll on the floor and play noisy games. They build bridges out of wooden blocks for hours (they’re both a bit obsessed with bridges now that I think of it.)
He’s generally outstanding.
And she is smitten.
When she wakes, scared in the middle of the night, she calls, “Daddy”. When she’s done pooping on the pot, she calls, “Daddy” (phew). Go out to play? Daddy. So many, many things… daddy.
And he’s not the only one. I’ve seen several of my friends and family become a similar kind of good dad. It really isn’t that much of an exception anymore. And whether equality is a given elsewhere or not, I’m so glad to see this playing field is levelling off in so many homes.
My faith in humanity is restored when I have these realizations. They makes me smile.
So here’s a cheesy video from father’s day last year. It’s from a brand whose communication I love. I don’t use a lot of their products because I tend not to be a one-brand kinda girl, but I respect what they do.
Enjoy, if you haven’t already seen it. This one is for you, Daddies… it doesn’t have to be father’s day for you to be celebrated.