Let's face it. I really don't actually like to cry. My eyes get blotchy. My head hurts. It's never a good time because one of 5 little people inevitably wants my attention right as I begin to break down. But the facts of life dictate that I will cry. I have to. I just can't avoid the activity altogether. So if I am going to cry, my new goal is to spend as little time as possible crying because I am sad or angry or hurting. I am just going to find good reasons to cry.
Today I have cried a few times. And even when I am not crying I can just feel the emotion bubbling right below the surface. And I realize, fully and undeniably, that my emotions are so strong today for all the same reasons that I got emotional a year ago and the year before that. It's Father's Day. And darn it all, I have a LOT to be grateful for in that department.
I have always been surrounded by great fathers. I grew up in this little bubble of high functioning people who had very strong family ties and a great sense of responsibility in the fathering area. I don't mean to discredit anything that my grandfathers or my own father did. But I definitely missed the concept that not all fathers are like that. Not all fathers come home every day. Not all fathers tuck you in and spend time listening to how your day went. Not all fathers miss you when they are away on trips. And not all fathers discipline in a righteous way that actually molds and shapes a life in a positive light. So, thank you, Dad, for making all of those difficult and monumental things seem so common and simple. Thank you for not letting me realize that there was an alternative to the things you did. And thank you for instilling in me the desire to raise my family the same way.
And the thank you's continue. Because somewhere along the line I accidentally picked up this man who totally changed the course of my life. I really was not looking for him. I actually tried really really really hard to not see him there. And then I kind of sort of fought this whole parenting thing. Not that I didn't want kids. But the idea of raising children just seemed too draining and overwhelming. Yet something about him just makes the whole process fun. Almost carnival on the boardwalk with funnel cake kind of fun. Every day. I seriously do not know children that laugh or smile as much as his do. I do not know a house that is as messy and chaotic and yet still so comfortable to me as his is. And I do not know respect and admiration as deep as what I have for him as a father. He spends his every waking moment honing his talent. He wakes up early just to spend alone time with his daughter. He spends 8-10 hours every day trying as best as he can to be a positive father figure to teens who may or may not have another one. He has given years and years to boys who he welcomed into our home and didn't hesitate to lovingly correct when they needed it, or forgive when it was desperately desired. And at the end of his day, he chooses to play games or make ice cream or any other activity that will reinforce to his children how much he loves them. He begs me to let him do bath-time and bed-time because he hasn't "gotten to see them all day." He is one-of-a-kind. And he lets me be his partner. Thank you, Brandon. For everything.
Mahal Kita. And Happy Father's Day.