To My Husband on Father’s Day

“Just hold him like a football.”

I’ll never forget those instructions you gave your bachelor buddies on how to hold our firstborn the day he arrived. I know I wasn’t sure what I was doing. You, however, appeared assured.

You were twenty. That's a year younger than our oldest is now. I can't imagine that we knew what we were doing. (I'm still not sure we know.)

As we celebrate you for Father’s Day I have to tell you just how much your assurance has come to mean not only to the kids, but to me. Here are a few things you continue to teach our family.

1.Kind of like you told your friends that October afternoon, you tell me to hold tight. Not all things look exactly like we planned or prayed. You’ve taught me patience and trust.

2.Let go. There are things we hang on to. You teach us there are things to let go of too. I'm learning to let go of what people think and not to worry so much about having unchecked items on our list.

3.Don’t complicate things. Some things can be left simple even if they aren’t easy. Not every thought and decision needs to be dissected, studied or analyzed.

4.Reign in the drama. Our kids aren’t perfect. We aren’t perfect. Neither are we doomed at every wrong turn. Not every decision is make it or break it.

5.Reserve drama for more fun ventures like using silly alternate voices when making the kids clean up or do a chore.

6.Don’t miss an opportunity to laugh (boisterously, or like a villain.)

7.Stay young. (You have more grays than I do, but you’ve retained a youthfulness in your maturity. I adore it.) The kids enjoy it too.

8. “Let your yes be yes and your no be no”... (Well you didn’t come up with that, it's scripture, but you’re really good at it.) You give a strong guilt-free no. I admire that. Thank you for steadying my wishy-washiness and calming my seasickness when I’m tossed about.

9.Don’t explain so much. (I’m tempted to explain this, but I won’t.)

10.Enjoy the kids. We teach them. We take care of them. We guide them. But if we neglect to enjoy them, we miss them for the God-given grace gift that they are.

I wasn’t so sure of your advice then, but looking back you were a natural. Designed to be so many things I’m not, you’ve not just been the other parent. Sure you’re a good father. What I’m trying to say is that you make me a better mother.

Happy Father’s Day!

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