It is a joy to partner with my husband in this nonstop, hard, beautiful, magical, messy and confusing work that is parenting. I love Dan. And I want to celebrate how nurturing, hands-on and involved of a father he is to Louis.
Of all the things that I love about Dan — and there are so many — right near the very top of that lengthy list is how methodical he is. Weird, I know. But, I really really really love how methodical Dan is in how he listens, in how he speaks, in how he thinks, in the things he does…in the way he lives life. He is bound and determined to figure out whatever has caught his attention in that moment and will not leave until he sees it through.
He is focused at whatever thing he is doing with or for Louis. And I must confess that I easily slip into an administrative/coordinator mindset way to often, drumming up lists that need to be done in my mind while doing a task at hand that happens to involve Louis. (Doesn’t the last part of the sentence sound icky and sterile? It is.) I learn how to be a better parent by watching Dan. He parents differently than I do – duh, of course he does! And I want to be more like him as a parent. Why? Because his methodical-ness (is that a word?) means that he is present.
When he’s giving a bath, he talks and plays with Lou as he carefully wipes down his chubby little body, making sure that all those folds get soaped and rinsed. He isn’t trying to get the bath done and over with as soon as possible so that he can put him to bed so he can watch the next episode of Modern Family or scroll through his Instagram feed. That time together is sacred and he is present with his son. When Dan is trimming his nails after bath time, he is focused and intent…taking as much time as needed to make sure that those little fingers are neat and tidy and unable to scratch that little, sweet face.
I’ve washed a counter crowded with dishes, folded 2 baskets of laundry and cleaned up after the bath in the span of time Dan takes to finish the nail trimming. It seems ridiculous that it would take that long, but it’s not ridiculous and Dan doesn’t take “too long”…it’s just that hes’ so present in the moment that he reads reactions and responds, taking needed breaks to look to the comfort of our child and taking not so needed breaks to kiss very kissable cheeks.
He’s not multitasking to get through the day; Dan makes memories with Louis. He makes memories that get stored away and treasured, memories to be unpacked and shared with Louis when he is old enough to laugh along with us. Dan tells made-up-on-the-spot fairy tales as he changes diapers; he hums songs and dances to music that isn’t playing to soothe away cries; he puts on silly faces and makes funny noises in front of the mirror to get smiles from a gassy boy; he giggles as he coaches his son how to push and grunt his way through a bowel movement; and he has awesome Popeye forearms for bottle feeding and burping!
Thank you, Dan, for being an example to me for the kind of parent I want to be. Thanks for changing poopy diapers at 6am, washing the breast pump for the umpteenth time, walking around in the hot Thai weather with a fussy baby, folding onesies and burp cloths and swaddling wraps, getting your chest hair pulled by little fingers and little toes, comforting a crying babe with steadfast patience and cuddling a cooing babe with a wealth of love.
I am proud to be your wife. I am thankful that Louis has a father like you, ever pressing towards the hard things in life to grow, leaning on Abba to get you through your days. Danny, you love us both so very very well. You are a wonder. We are blessed to have you in our lives.
Happy Father’s Day to the funniest person I know.