When I was a kid, I remember seeing my father exactly two times. The first time, I was around four years old. He came to visit me at my grandparent’s house and brought me lots of gifts. And lots of promises that he’d come back to see me soon. The second time he came to visit me, three or four years later, I had wised up. Even though he brought me even more gifts, made even more promises that he’d be back soon, I knew he wouldn’t. And I was right…
Even though I was raised by a single mom, I was not without a male presence. I had a kind, caring, loving grandfather who spent summers taking me to swim classes, parades, and beating me at Jeopardy. I had uncles who taught me about cars, power tools, and what kind of music was cool. But, no matter how wonderful they were, they weren’t a dad.
When my husband and I found out we were going to be parents, I had no idea what to expect from him as a dad. I’d never lived with a father, or really seen a father in action. The only dads I’d seen were on television sitcoms, and on TV dads typically don’t do much, leaving it all to the mom. I didn’t know if my husband would change diapers, feed the baby, or even take him out of the house for a few hours so I could have some alone time.
As soon as The Goose was born, my husband jumped head first into fatherhood. He was changing diapers like a pro, holding him, rocking him, and quickly learning how to eat dinner with one hand while holding a screaming newborn in the other (something that I was never able to master). Instantly, he was a good dad.
In all honesty, my husband was, and still is, the kind of dad that I wished I would’ve had.
My husband is patient (much more so than me), waiting while The Goose tries to solve a puzzle, build a block tower or draw a picture all on his own. My husband is generous, he is always bringing home special treats for The Goose, picking up books that he knows The Goose will like, and always sharing a piece of candy with The Goose after dinner. Most importantly, my husband is devoted. He puts The Goose to bed nearly every night, after playing Monkey Max with him and reading books. He takes him to the library every Saturday, where they spend at least two hours their reading books, playing computer games, doing puzzles and talking with the puppets. And whenever I take the Goose away for a long weekend, he makes sure to talk with him every night, asking him what we did during the day, how much fun he had, and always telling him that he loves him, misses him, and can’t wait to see him when he gets home.
My husband plays the games that I don’t like to play. He plays tag at the park, plays dinosaurs and robots in the living room and he chases The Goose when he’s riding his bike and starts peddling super fast. He kicks the soccer ball around with The Goose in the back yard, takes him for rides in the wagon and pushes him on the swing. He sets up a tent in the basement (and actually sleeps in it!) and he helps The Goose build forts under our dining room table. He plays catch with him in the backyard, feeds his fish every night, and always gets a beverage he knows The Goose will like when we go to a restaurant.
The Goose and his dad are partners in crime. Sneaking out to get ice cream on their way to the park, stopping for a Slurpee on their way to the hardware store, and always buying popcorn and fruit punch at Target (even if it is almost dinner time). When my husband takes The Goose for a quick wagon ride in the evening, even if it is a school night, they almost always ending up at the fountain in town… a half mile from our house. And during the summer he takes him outside on Friday nights to swing in the dark.
My husband is a great man, a wonderful husband, and an amazing father. He’s a good dad, and The Goose and I are both so lucky to have him.