An Ode to Dad

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.”

– Jim Valvano

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on the two incredible men in my life.

I am blessed with a wonderful Dad.

He has always been there for his family, and he worked his hardest to provide the best for each and every one of us. Growing up, he devoted time and attention to myself and my sister, and always made sure we felt loved and supported. Most importantly, he was present.

My Dad is the glue that holds us together. He is wise, kind, and generous. He is man of few words, but he ensures every one counts.

One of the most wonderful things about my Dad is the love he has for my Mom. He always appreciates everything she does. He tells her how beautiful she is. He lovingly supports her through all of life’s ups and downs.

My Dad set a very high bar for the men his daughters would marry. He showed his daughters what a great man looked like. He showed his daughters what a loving husband looked like. He showed his daughters what an amazing Dad looked like.

For this, I am grateful.

Because of my Dad’s example I knew not to settle. I knew I deserved the very best. I knew I wanted my husband to treat me the way in which my Dad treated my Mom.

For this, I am grateful.

As an adult I know I can still count on my Dad for anything. I know he stands behind me no matter what. I know he loves and supports me just as he did when I was a little girl.

For this, I am beyond grateful.

I am blessed with a wonderful husband.

When I met Nick, I knew he was the one for me. We have grown so much in our relationship and I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

I have never met a man more hard-working than Nick. He works two jobs; but at the end of the day he greets his girls with his beautiful smile, giant bear hugs and endless energy. No matter how busy he may be, he always makes sure we are his number one priority.

When I decided to go back to school, he encouraged and supported my decision. He continues to be my rock as we journey through the craziness of full-time school, working, and raising a delightful little girl.

Nick loves with his whole being. Watching our girl’s face light up when he enters a room speaks louder than words ever could. He is the Dad who comes home from a long shift at the fire hall and plays Barbie’s until bedtime. He makes time to ensure our girl feels like she is the most important person in the universe.

For this I am grateful.

He always goes above and beyond. I know I can count on him for anything. I know he would do anything for his family.

For this I am grateful.

He is loving and kind. He is open and honest. I know he will love and support me through the good, and more importantly, the bad.

For this, I am beyond grateful.

Thank you to all the amazing fathers who work hard and love harder.

Thank you to all the amazing fathers who are raising kind, accepting, and respectful children.

Thank you to all the amazing fathers who do the best they can with what they have.

Thank you to my Dad and my husband for being all kinds of amazing.

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Me and My Daddy
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“Mama, Just One More Thing…”

It seems like yesterday my little girl was a baby. I am amazed at how she has grown, developed, and morphed into an incredible four-year old. I am amazed at her curiosity. However, this is not a new development. From a young age, she was into everything. She loved to explore. One of her first words was “why?”

Now the “why” has transformed into inquisitive questions, which fill the hours of our day. Most questions come in the morning, when we first wake up. It seems like her dreams have given her the opportunity to formulate her thoughts into inventive, thoughtful, and, at times, crazy questions.

The plethora of questions lately made me curious. I wanted to know how many questions, on average, a four-year olds asks in one day. So, I took to Google (whatever did we do without it) and discovered an incredibly interesting article by The Telegraph.

A study conducted in the UK found that mothers are the most questioned people in the world.

We are responsible for knowing everything and anything.

 “The study discovered girls aged four are the most curious, asking an incredible 390 questions per day – averaging a question every 1 minute 56 seconds of their waking day.”

Crazy, isn’t it.

But, after trying to keep track of my daughter’s questions one morning, I stopped counting at about twenty. It is impossible to effectively answer every question while keeping track of them at the same time.

That’s the other thing. My daughter truly wants to know the answer. “Because” does not appease her any longer. I have even taken to Google (again!) for videos or explanations when I don’t know the answer.

I have started to write down my favorite questions for future reference. My top ten over the last couple of days include the following:

 What if we didn’t have tongues?

What if my toys were real?

Can frogs dance?

How do we talk?

How is (everything) made?

Why can’t we fly like birds?

Why do flowers have stems?

Are there cloud beds in heaven?

Where does color come from?

Why don’t dinosaurs exist anymore?

While at times these questions can be frustrating, I am truly making an effort to be more patient. However, when such questions are coming at you with rapid fire, this can be challenging.

Then I stop. And think.

There will come a time in our relationship when my daughter will think she knows everything.

She will no longer ask.

I will long for her inquisitiveness.

I will long for her questions, which often lead to heart-warming, in-depth, and memorable conversations.

I will long for the laughter and the chatter that follow.

Although I know this day may come, I am working hard to build a trusting and strong relationship with my daughter.

I hope the silence is limited.

I hope she will continue to come to me with challenging, and thought provoking questions.

I hope taking the time to provide the answers she needs now, she will know she can always come to me.

For everything and anything.

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Sitting, Thinking, Dreaming

Little word. Big meaning.

I have heard it many times. From many people. Most are moms around my age. Most have two, three, or four children. We begin an innocent conversation. Then the question comes. The question I despise. The question that makes my skin crawl.

 “Oh. You just have the one?”

Yes, I have one child.  And please, don’t ask me why.

Why is none of your business.

My husband and I have made the decision to have one child. That may change. It may not.

 Again. None of your business.

What bothers me most about this question is one little word.

A word that holds tremendous weight.

A word that lessens the value of myself, and my child.

Four letters that make my heart drop.

JUST.

I don’t JUST have one child.

I have one child.

I have one daughter.

One amazing daughter.

One hilarious daughter.

One kind-hearted daughter.

One joyous daughter.

I have one daughter who fills my heart with so much love, my heart could explode. I have one daughter who completes our family. I have one daughter who has made our family “The Three Amigos.”

I have one daughter who is not “JUST” anything.

So, before you ask someone if they have “just” one child, consider the weight of your words. Consider the many reasons why couples choose to have one child. Consider why we measure our value as parents by the number of children we have.

Simply put…

Remove your judgement. Remove your opinon. Remove your assumptions.

Remove the JUST.

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The Three Amigos