Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

So in one hour it is Father's Day.  Ever since Kevin became a dad, I don't dread it anymore, but I do miss my dad.  He loved to celebrate himself - I don't mean that in a bad way, he just did - so on his birthday and on Father's Day, I miss him a lot, knowing it'd be a big deal.   Happy Father's Day, Dad...wish you were here to swim with my girls tomorrow, to throw them around in the deep end.  They would have loved you, and I would have loved seeing you as a Grandpa.  I wish we would have had more time together, time to heal, time to enjoy each other.  You loved us the best  you knew how, and I am so appreciative of the life you gave me.  Love you Dad, and miss you.

I am glad to see that dads these days are seemingly starting to take a more active role in parenthood.  I know many, many dads who are not just present, but awesome.  And one of my favorite ways to see a dad being a good dad is how he loves his kids' mom.  Kevin, right from the start of my pregnancies, was a good dad by how wonderful he was to me.  Back needed rubbed?  He was my man.  I HAD to have a chicken sandwich from Wendy's?  He was my gopher.  Kid pressed the return-to-sender button and I'm vomiting again?!  He was my janitor and nurse.  I knew right away how great of a dad he'd be, just by how great he was being to me.

Kevin is no saint.  The man has a temper, he's obsessed with sports, he has 2 Blackberries (that's not his fault, one's for work, but they both get on my nerves) and he has a tendency to misplace things and forget stuff - often.  But he is a GREAT DAD.  He adores his girls.  He has a soft heart for them, but also wants to teach them right from wrong.  He has their back.  He is involved, loving, and a good example of the kind of man I hope they look for someday.

My dad really liked Kevin.  We were just friends when he died, in fact I was dating someone else.  The boy I was dating was a really nice guy, but my dad didn't think he was for me.  I think he knew we wouldn't end up together, and that makes me feel good, thinking he knew.  I wonder if he knew Kevin and I would get together.  He asked several times why we were just friends - he liked Kevin a lot but didn't believe in platonic friendships - especially at our age!  He even asked me if Kevin was "that way."  If you knew my dad, you could totally see him asking such a thing.  When my dad died - in November of '98, my sophomore year - it was Kevin I wanted to spend time with.  Not as a boyfriend, I just wanted to be with him.  All of my friends, bless their hearts, I know loved me and wanted to help - they hurt for me.  So did Kevin, but he would just be with me.  I didn't have to talk about my dad, we could just be ourselves.  He'd take me out to get wings, we'd take walks around campus, he'd tuck me in with a book he'd pick up that he'd thought I'd like.  I thought he pitied me, but that was really the beginning of our love story...and it happened when my dad died.  How different would it have looked if that wasn't our beginning?  Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like had my dad lived.  I doubt I would have gotten married right out of college...he probably would have wanted me to get my Masters right away, then get married.  If I had done that, I wouldn't have had Bailey, who I got pregnant with at 23 yrs old.  Everything would have been different...but how different?  I can't imagine my life without Kevin and the girls...and yet I do miss my dad, and wished he was still here.

All that to say, and it doesn't really matter.  I'm laying on the couch in my house that Kevin and I share with our girls, and I am happy.  My dad did die - and I miss him, sometimes so much my heart hurts.  Especially when the girls ask about him, or long for him.  And to this day, I can't watch a home video with him in it.  I fear the pain I would feel seeing him, hearing his voice - he was larger than life - would be too much.  But the ways he was a good dad, I have that with me, and I am thankful for it.  He loved to do things with his family - camping, vacations, nights on the boardwalk.  Nothing mattered more to him than family.  Not every man is like that...but Kevin is too.  He loves his family, loves providing for us, and enjoying life together.  My girls and I are so blessed to have him.

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there.  May you bless your family with your strength, commitment, provision, and love.  May you be blessed with adoration, service, joy and respect.

And Kevin - thank you for being the best dad my girls could ever ask for.  From being there for me when I was pregnant to being there for them whenever they need you, day or rock our world and I love you.

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