. . . I haven't written in months, I'm a little/lot rusty. I had these three goal the last year or so 1) to talk less and listen more; 2) to say "yes" as often as possible and with a willing heart; and 3) to laugh . . . at things that are funny, or not funny but need to be laughed at or you'll cry and most of all at myself.
Turns out, these things that I've been working on, my massive weaknesses . . . well, they've changed my life, my marriage, my status as awesomest mom in the world, and upped my friend value (I hope . . .).
Most of all, though . . . they've made me see, hear, and feel so much more joy than I'd thought I could. As well as a healthy dose of guilt for all the times I haven't listened, said 'yes' or laughed and let go. But I'm a firm believer in guilt being the great impetus for change and inspiration . . . and I'm telling you, I'm INSPIRED!
Working on this stuff . . . and listening and saying yes (turns out I'm going to be PTA co president next year . . . how about that for yes) and laughing . . . well . . . it's taken up a LOT of time. Which is awesome, but it means I haven't been writing like I want to. But that's going to change. It's summer and I have things to write about. So every few days, I'm going to write. It will be short, hopefully sweet, sometimes sassy, but always real. Be prepared . . .
But enough of that, what I really want to write about is just a little love note to the papa of my passel of babies. So here it goes . . .
Thank you for not utterly freaking out when you found out you were going to be a papa for the first time. We were all surprised, but you got over it. I got fat and worried, but you just got prepared (and decided on law school) and when that little screaming, cone head, squished face baby boy came, you utterly and completely loved him. And when each other little person came, you loved them with that same fierce compete love that you gave Henry. You are their greatest fan. Their greatest champion. Their playmate. Their concert bouncer. You believe in them. You know they can do anything and will do everything and they do. There isn't a doubt in your mind or heart that they are the best humans in the universe. And they all know, that you would literally do anything for them.
They see you staying up until 2 am sometimes to make sure that everyone is tucked in safe and sound and ok. They watch you put down your projects to bounce on the tramp and play baseball or watch a movie with them. You not only play with them, you listen to them. You ask them questions and listen to their answers and are patient even when the answer isn't what you want (except if it's about politics . . . then it's game over . . . :). You think they're cool and they know it. You trust them, and they live up to that trust. And when they sort of fail, you give them space to figure it out and you trust them again. When you lose your temper, you always say sorry.
What child could as for more?
I love that you've taught your sons to take care of babies and the people around them. That men cook and clean and change dipaers and get up in middle of the night and most of all . . . clean toilets like no one else. You've given them the vision that being married and a father means you get to help make sure everything and everyone is ok before you sit down and relax. It means caring and tending and sharing the burdens.
My only and greatest worry is, how will our daughters ever find someone who will be as good a father as you are? But then again, our fathers were like you. Surely there are three more men in the universe who know how to share burdens and put their families and wives first and devote their very best selves to their families? That's my prayer. Every night.
And most of all, thank you for letting me be the mother to these babies. You always support me. You stand by me and are my greatest champion. There isn't a divided front here. You've got my back. Even when it hurts, I am thankful that you remind me to be nicer and use a better voice or say sorry or laugh or not to worry or most of all, not to take it so seriously. And you always remind me that this should be fun. Being a parent, according to you, is totally awesome.
You, JHT, are literally made to be a father. You probably didn't know it, and most of the time, I'm not sure I can figure out who is the child and who is the parent (especially during games, on the tramp, riding skate boards, listening to loud music . . . really loud music with questionable lyrics, and staying up late watching movies), but I think our five kiddos could not have had a better father . . . or friend. Thank you for teaching them what love is, to be slow to judge, quick to forgive, and most of all, how to have one heck of a good time.
My life is way crazy fun with you. Sometimes, a lot crazy, but always fun.
And that, is my love letter. Happy Father's Day.