We just had Father’s Day, which means once again, I’ve missed the window of opportunity for this post to go crazy viral. Ha.
Ours was really low-key. LG sent his dad an e-book and I sent mine a gift-card to KrispyKreme. LG gave me just a $10 budget for himself and so I did what we do best – I let the girls each pick something at the Dollar Tree. (Don’t feel too sorry for him, with the leftover cash I bought him a new t-shirt and a bath loofah. The man loves to scrub!) LG ended up with not just a loofah and a t-shirt, but a Spiderman piggy bank, an FBI kit, a bag of bubble gum, and a jumping bean racetrack toy that Caroline just couldn’t give up for he Ninja set she knew that dad would have liked better.
I was on my feet all day Saturday and so when Father’s Day Sunday morning rolled around, this 28 week forty-year-old pregnant wife could not move. All the girls came and tried to coax me out of bed. “Mom, it’s father’ day!” but it just wasn’t happening. My body was done. So, what did LG do? He told them to leave me alone and got them all ready for church and gave me the morning to sleep. He’s a gem. A total gem.
We did lunch of grilled cheese and fruit (that I somehow mustered the energy to make) and presents later and LG never complained. In fact, he acted totally stoked with his Dollar Tree loot. Why? Because that’s what good dads do. And LG is the best. This brings me to the point of the post.
You know I read a lot about parenting. I could list you a million requirements of a good dad. I could then put a star next to 80% of the list indicating that my husband and the beloved father of my children has mastered the large majority. Yet, if I did that, he would still focus on the 20% he wants to do better. Because like any good parent, he wants to be perfect for his kids. He wants to give them the moon.
So, this post is for all the dads out there, like my amazing LG, who feel like they just can’t be enough.
I am here to make a final parenting declaration. No more books necessary.
The #1 (and ONLY) thing a SuperDad needs to do is keep showing up.
Tell your kids you love them and that you want to be there for them and do your darnedest to follow through.
My girls adore their dad. In fact they constantly tell me to be nicer to him. (I have work to do.) They think he is the bees knees. What does he do special? A lot. What does he do not so special? Even more than what he does special.
- He goes to work and hands over his whole paycheck for their needs and wants.
- He comes home every day after work.
- He helps them with their homework.
- He keeps loving their mom, even when she is impossible. Especially when she is impossible.
- He plays video games with them.
- He involves them in his marathon Netflix sitcoms. (Why does the library have to take so long to get us that Season 3 of Veronica Mars?)
- He takes them to the park to practice their batting.
- He fixes their bikes.
- He teaches them to cook the basics. They each have in turn mastered everything he can cook: frozen pizza, hamburger helper, mac-n-cheese, ramen, eggs, and pancakes.
- He shows up at their stuff: plays, concerts, games, church activities….everything.
- He takes them camping.
- He teaches them how to respect the electronics and tells them about all the latest technology.
- He has the hard conversations.
- He says he is sorry.
- He reads to them (and always falls asleep on the floor next to Caroline’s bed when it’s his turn because she always suckers him into staying with her.)
- He cheers them up, makes them laugh, and teaches them corny jokes.
- He gives them hugs and kisses.
- He prays with them.
- He reads scripture with them.
- He tells them to be nice.
- He compliments them.
- He lectures them incessantly about modesty.
- He lets them invade his personal space every time he sits down.
- He takes them on daddy daughter dates.
- He tells them that he loves them.
The best dads in the world lets his kids know that they matter to him in all the unspecial ways, but those ways become the special. The accumulation of his million little things scream 100% louder than anything special he could ever do just one time.
In a world of declining dads, I am so grateful for the father of my children who simply chooses to love. Every day. No matter how exhausting.
LG, I was just thinking it would be fun to plan for each of ours girl a really special first date with their dad when they turn 16. That way they can each have the perfect example of how to be treated. Then I realized, they already have that. They’ve had it their whole lives.
Happy father’s day to the best of the best.