Father's day makes me think long and hard about the man my kids call "Dad." I wasn't sure what kind of father my husband would be, as his real father wasn't a part of his growing up life, and he was raised by a man who battled alchoholism and post traumatic stress from a war; you can imagine what kind of role model that set. When we were dating he was very clear about the kind of father he wanted to become someday. I, on the other hand, was more concerned about shallow things like how attractive I thought he was. I'm glad one of us was a grown up.
As I reflect, I can laugh now, about how my idea of what makes a man sexy, has definitely changed over the years as the things I value have shifted. I think my views on that subject changed when the man I married became a father for the first hour. Fatherhood brought things out in my husband like nothing else. He had always been gentle and kind and protective. But I think the moment I saw him cradling our firstborn gently, reverently, in his large tanned hands, I fell madly in love with him on a whole new level. My ideas of what made him desireable and attractive changed.
It wasn't about his muscles or broad shoulders or looks. Nothing quite so shallow. No, it was a deeper vulnerability that fatherhood propelled to the surface in the man that I love. It came in the form of my man bowing his head and asking for help in dealing with our children, from the only One who could send help. It was when he didn't have all the answers but he knew where to find the answers. It was the time he asked me if he could pray with me on the phone while he was away on business and I was crying over a kid issue I couldn't fix. Now, being attractive is a daddy sitting on the floor letting his four year old put hair ribbon around his ears or gently "wrestling" a five year old at the end of a long work day, and letting that five year old win.
Fatherhood suddenly defined him and everything I knew of this man I loved began to pivot out around him from that new place.
Fatherhood. The man my kids call "Dad" has fatherly patience and understanding and to know him is to respect him. He loves Jesus with all his heart and after a childhood without much of a father-figure, he is the most amazing daddy to my hoodlums. He isn't perfect, but he's perfect for me and perfect for my kids. He is our hero. He is my best friend, my soul mate, the man of my dreams, and I am so thankful that he is ours!