I don’t know what it takes to be called “dad of the year.” I’m unsure what characteristics or qualities a man needs to possess in order to earn this title, but if I had to give the description a good ‘ol college try, I would define it as…
Dad of the Year
[dad uhv th-uh yeer] devoted fella who willingly gives his hands and heart to his family; active participant in tea parties, swimming lessons and outdoor catch; bedtime storyteller; joke teller; partner in trouble-making; piggy-bank filler; most likely wrapped around the little one’s finger
I think my big red could make the cut for a few reasons…
The summer of 2012 was one for the books. In Saint Louis, the weather was anything but pleasant. It was hot, humid and just nasty. Not super friendly for a pregnant lady. As a result, the summer of 2012, the summer before Mads entered the world, was filled with way too many snow cones, extremely low air conditioning temps and personalized car service to and from EVERYWHERE. He took on the role of chauffeur with no complaint. He worked hard to make every single environment we walked into was as comfortable as possible. Everyone always complimented me on how relaxed and calm I was during my pregnancy … it was because of my ultimate zen master.
On September 15, 2012, our gift entered the world with his help and support. And at that moment, the connection between bubbs and Mads was instant. With eyes wide open, she looked at her dad and he stared right back in complete wonderment. He doted. He took a million pictures. He swaddled her over and over and over again while mama took a moment to breath. He remained strong and positive when we couldn’t take her home when we expected. And he remained patient and the slowest moving vehicle on the road on the day when we could finally welcome her into her new home.
In September 2014, summer started to end and apple picking was the place to be. A farm boy at heart, he couldn’t wait to get his girl there. Along with the dearest of friends and Mads’ godparents, we laughed and ate and laughed some more. Creating moments that connect his past to his present is magical and will always connect Mads to his soul.
In October 2014, we took our first trip without Mads. A welcomed and enjoyable trip, but it was definitely tough to part with our little, even if it was just for a few days. In the end, bubbs and I spent the time reconnecting, indulging in good food and great conversation, remembering why we are proud to call each other “best friends,” and also, remembering the beautiful life that resulted from our love. As moments passed, we thought of her future, prayed for her path and of course, bought her souvenirs. Once we arrived home to be finally greeted with open arms and too many kisses, he absolutely joined in with a much needed belly-laugh-filled leaf attack.
In December 2014, the air turned crisp and the first weekend of December was here – officially kicking off the holiday season. Mads’ uncle called to let us in on the tree lighting ceremony in town. A last minute event. My big red’s heart swelled. His favorite holiday was near and there was no way he would say no to sharing this experience with our little. We turned up the Christmas music in the car and hurried over to the tree lighting. Although we arrived late, he still shared his love of the holiday with her and let her soak in the experience for as long as her little red nose would let her. And after that, hot chocolate.
Everyday is different. Everyday has ups and downs, laughter and tears, conversations and disagreements, but regardless of the situation, he remains steadfast and devoted to this strong-willed, independent spirit that is our daughter. And for that, I think my big red is Dad of the Year.
Loving you forever and always, bubbs. xo
Wishing a wonderful Father’s Day to you and your Dad of the Year!
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