How do I begin to thank someone for the most precious gift I've ever received?
How do I write what I feel inside a 4" card?
Happy Father's Day, the Dad. You are the most wonderful husband, daddy, friend, and partner I've ever, ever known. You gave me the lil' dude . . . you made me a mama. You created the us we are now.
Each summer, I took great care in picking out a Father's Day card for my dad, one that was pretty sentimental and girly; one that undoubtedly said "to dad from your daughter" or something along those lines. I always wanted him to know how great I think he is. Hallmark always made it easy, and this year was no different. But, the Dad, I just couldn't find the right things in a card for you. There is nothing existing that can say it to the degree it needs to be said.
I remember whispering to my friend, after about 3 months of dating you, "the Dad is going to be a great daddy." I knew it even then.
I remember in the basement of that church during our marriage class weekend, you reading the letter you wrote me, and mentioning our kids' names, how perfect and healthy they would be and how much we would love being parents.
I remember your hugs each month I got my period, and you saying, "we just gotta keep practicing!" and me knowing it would happen.
I remember pulling you from your desk chair, my pink cellphone still glued to my ear with my nurse practitioner on the other end saying, "You don't have any cysts, but you do have a baby!"
I remember both of us crying in the hallway, whispering furiously between each other and laughing. I remember showing you November 27th on a calendar.
I remember your protection, instantly. You protected me from inquiring friends, and scary internet stories, and rare meat.
I remember your pride as we sat together in the First Trimester class, our names and the lil' dude's due date on a placard before us.
I remember your eyes, glued to mine and wet with emotion as we heard her miniature heartbeat for the first time. When she was the size of a lime.
I remember your calm, easy presence at 20 weeks when I was a bundle of terrified nerves. Later, I remember you pacing and sweating in the tiny ultrasound room, and the strength your hand holding mine gave me.
I remember you running back to bed to feel her kicking for the first time- not believing what we saw and felt.
I remember how much you wanted to be a part in picking out her nursery and all her gear. I remember you calling your mom asking her if she would send us your old Pooh Bear for her room.
I remember you telling me the stretch marks were no big deal- not even noticeable.
I remember you rubbing my back every single day, without being asked.
I remember you doing all my chores and errands. Remember the pumpkin patch?
I remember you never being riled about me being riled. You know we will never sleep again. You know we won't have time for this. You know things will never be the same again.
I remember your sweet thoughts. "I wonder what our baby will look like?"
I remember your jokes during the long days of baby class, and your thunder-storm fingers on my aching back.
I remember you going to the gas station for a Mountain Dew and not telling me it was too late or too much caffeine.
I remember your chest at 40 weeks, wet with my panicked, overwhelmed tears, that It Was Never Going To Come Out.
I remember you promising me all I would need in that delivery room would be you.
I remember telling you not to look, I remember you grabbing a leg and counting and helping me do it.
I remember you calling the people on my list, in my order, once we had a her.
I remember you and your face when you became a daddy.
There are so many things I remember, all my favorite memories and sweet instances I love to play over and over again. We sure are good at this, aren't we? We really are the greatest team there is. Here's to the rest of our seasons together, making I Remembers.
Happy Father's Day, the Dad.