Less than two weeks after we were married, our lives were turned upside down. Though practically everyone else predicted it, we were shocked when we found out we were expecting a little honeymoon baby. Our swift entrance into parenthood thrilled us tremendously and scared us a little, too. But, he handled it with such trust.
But that was one of the reasons that I married him. I still see those reasons, every single day.
The tears he cried when they laid our first daughter into my arms. He stood back and watched as I wept and promised her I’d be a good mother. And then he held her and stared at her precious face for a long time. I treasure those photos. At home, he took her out to the living room and slept on the couch when I was so ill…and she was only two weeks old. He did all of her feedings, burped her, stayed up with her through colic. And never complained.
He played with her, idolized her. He would get on the floor and talk to her even when she was only a month old. Later, he became her jungle gym, letting her crawl and jump all over him. He still does that, only now he has two little ones climbing all over him.
He stood by me and supported me when we were surprised by another addition, only to lose him a few months later. He cried with me, held my hand, and prayed with me. And he never questioned me.
Then, he left, and she was here. I heard his smile–so audible–as he heard about her in Kuwait. He missed the whole pregnancy. Instead, he defended our country and family. Later, I found out he was keeping up with the pregnancy, reading weekly the progress our unborn child and I were making. He wasn’t supposed to be there when she arrived. Somehow, he sacrificed so much and flew halfway around the world, arriving just in time. He named her and then he held her. And he fell in love all over again.
He insisted on doing most of the feedings the three days he was home. He fed and burped and changed diapers and then did it all over again. “You’re going to be left with this,” he said, “let me do it for now.” What a man. What a father. He smiled and talked to her, holding her for hours.
And then he left again. So bravely. As I stood there and wept, so weak.
He came home and threw himself into loving them again. Picking up like he was never gone. And they fell in love with him all over again.
He is always doing and cleaning and going that extra mile. And I never realize until I go to do it myself. And it’s done. With such love. He goes beyond what I would expect, because he loves me. He loves them. He’s picked up the slack with the house and girls when I had to step back for a little while. And he never complained. When I felt like a failure, he insisted I was so needed. He encouraged me more, and loved me more.
He’s so loving, so quiet. So strong, so brave. So firm, so dependable.
He’s reminds me of St. Joseph.
I cannot imagine parenting with anyone else. Parenting without the balance and consistency he brings to our dynamic. The Faith and love he brings. He always inspires me to be better, sets a bar through his example that I constantly try to reach. He’s so good.
I am so blessed to have him. The girls are so blessed to have such a wonderful father. God is so good to me.
Happy Father’s Day, Richard. Your girls love you so much! Thank you for being such a great dad!