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I remember the first time Reagan saw you. You were at my house, she was sleeping. She woke up crying, I went in to get her and came out and rocked her. With her head on my chest, blanket in hand, she looked at you with wary eyes and a distrustful stare.

Next month marks our 10 year wedding anniversary, and even though you’ve been a part of my daughter’s life for the majority of her life, it’s taken these many years for the bond between you to be strengthened. I think she had to see, repeatedly, that she could trust you.

You know, more than most, just how often her trust has been broken. You’ve seen the many ups and downs that she has been through in her young life, but you have helped me provide a stability that I couldn’t have done on my own. You have helped create a home for my daughter.
I wish, more than anything, that I had been able to give you the experience of having a child of your own. But even though that wasn’t in our cards, you are no less of a father because of it.

You have been my parenting partner for 10+ years. You have been to every ball game, every dance recital, every school event. You have cleaned up after her, cared for her when she is sick, spoiled her, disciplined her, and helped create a comic-book hero nerd after your own heart.

I have had to take a step back, and I must apologize, because there have been many times that I have confronted you in frustration because you weren’t parenting “my” way, or the way I thought you should. But the older I get, the older she gets, the more I see that your way is just that: your way. And I think you’re doing just fine. More than fine.

And you haven’t just influenced her, you’ve influenced me. You’ve made me a stronger, better mom. You’ve had my back. You keep me in check. You encourage me and remind me to not take myself too seriously.

I know how important Dads are to daughters. I know what their influence, good or bad, can do to one. You may not consciously realize how much she watches you, but I do. And your consistency, your humor and your positivity have helped create a home that has only allowed her to thrive, and be unapologetically herself.

Strong dads contribute to their daughters becoming strong women. I have no doubt about this. I have no doubt that you being the man and father you are will continue to help Reagan become the best version of herself that she can be.

I appreciate everything you have done for her. For me. Little things, and big things. We may not have started this parenting journey together from day 1, but we are no weaker because of it. In fact, I think we’re a stronger family unit because we’ve had to work so hard at times to become one.

You’ve never had to prove anything to me. I wouldn’t have married you if I didn’t think you were up to the task of the roles you were about to take on. But you have proven yourself. Time and time again, you have shown me your father’s heart. Thank you for that. For everything you have done, and everything you continue to do. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.

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