This is for my kids, because only one of them can say any words right now, and “no, no, noooo” and “night-night” don’t exactly sum it up…
I’ve always known you were going to be a great dad. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to marry you. In those moments when I wasn’t sure I wanted you for me, I was absolutely certain I wanted you for my future kids. And although I’m wrong about a lot of things, I wasn’t wrong about that.
I remember the first time we saw a real-live positive pregnancy test, and the first time you celebrated with abandon even though we hadn’t even been married a year and had no plan in place that included a baby. I was in nursing school and still would be on the due date. You were in medical school and would have more than a year to go after that point. It was, life-planning-wise, the very worst time to have a baby. But you were thrilled. Until the day that hope died, the day I delivered a tiny amniotic sac into a toilet, you parented that baby with your unbridled joy of expectation.
The second time we saw those two pink lines, you were just as thrilled. Through my crazy mood swings and downright terrible pregnancy hormones, you never complained. You were already Dad to that little boy-fetus, telling him you loved him through my belly and into his warm water world. When he came out and into our arms, you held his little hand and named him Judah. Our son. And from that day, you’ve been teaching him about music, the trees, being patient. He hasn’t lived a single day without being surrounded by your joy over him. We rejoice together, and he beams. Judah is pure joy, and he learned that from you. You are the very best dad to him.
One thing I have been sure of is that any little girl who is lucky enough to have you for her Dad will know without any question that she is loved, protected, and incredibly valuable. When I first found out I was pregnant again, I thought we should have a boy for Judah to have a brother. What I didn’t think about was how you would beam over this baby girl. Judah adores his baby sister, but you out-do him in your abject adoration of our Sarala Grace. She is the most secure, peaceful, JOYFUL baby girl I have ever seen, with her mouth open wide in a smile since the day she figured out how to use those muscles. You are her Dad, her safest place, the strong arms that reach into her crib to pick her up and smile happinesses at her when you didn’t get a chance to say goodnight. The way you hold her chubby hand and sing silly songs to her makes me even more sure of what I knew before: these children, the ones who shout “Daddy and run wildly to the door when they hear you coming, are the luckiest little kids in the world.