When I think about my son, I often think: Please grow up to be like your dad, or my dad, or your dad’s dad, because in all honesty my husband is pretty awesome. I was also raised by a really great guy, and my father-in-law is the nicest man on the planet. It is a true blessing to have great male role models in the lives of my daughters and son. I want my little girls to grow up and demand respect from the men they will encounter and interact with in adulthood. I also hope my son grows up to be the type of guy people find intelligent, endearing, and considerate.
Dads are important. Many provide economic stability within a family, and supply a shoulder to cry on when mom just doesn’t understand. They also often get the roles of comic relief and argument mediator. On this Father’s Day, I am lucky to have three amazing dads in my life, who knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) pave a road of good conduct that my family is happy to follow.
My husband cooks and he cleans (yes, ladies…I married a keeper). Sure, he leaves dirty socks all over the house and his closet shelves are a constant disaster, but all in all my husband is the type of guy most parents would be beyond thrilled to have their child marry. My folks were ecstatic when we got engaged because it meant that they got to keep my hubby for life. My brothers would surely vote me off any island in order to secure my husband as a part of their alliance.
This speaks volumes about the person I married, because in-laws can be crazy and my family brings a lot of loudness, talking, laughing, and sarcasm to the table. However, my husband loves and accepts my family unconditionally. He knows they are important to me and has always been on-board with being one of the gang.
My husband is also a typical guy in a lot of ways. He spends countless hours (doing I have no idea what) in the garage, and is capable of changing the oil in a car and solving wi-fi connection problems. He does a great job of teaching these life skills to all of our kids, plus he never discriminates between boy and girl jobs. My daughters get messy handing him tools while he changes the battery in a vehicle, and my son often “helps” him untangle the cord for a marathon vacuum session of all the bedrooms.
Our kids are more fortunate than they know because they have a daddy that is willing to do everything, including things that can often being incorrectly categorized as stereotypical mommy duties (Feminist rant over!). Laundry may always be on my to-do list, but my husband takes the reins with washing dishes. This kind of thing is vital, because I need my son to grow up and be a helpful housemate, and know that cleaning is not just a job for women. It is wonderful that my son lives with a man who cooks, cleans, and helps his wife with household duties. It is also great for my daughters to recognize they need a good partner (in a variety of aspects) when it comes to long-term relationships, because no one wants to be stuck tidying up alone after a family BBQ. *I have been meaning to send my mother-in-law an engraved thank you for making my husband have house cleaning chores as a child; it really is the best way to make a person grow up to be an excellent spouse!
My son looks so much like my husband, that I have to squint (or rub my c-section scar) to remember that there are also parts of me inside of him. But that is okay, because like father like son is a great motto for us. Be it hitting a baseball, throwing a football, killing bugs, planting a garden, changing light bulbs, painting toenails, making ice cream smoothies, or telling jokes, I am thankful every day that I married a guy who is not ashamed to do it all.
My dad really set the table for me and my high expectations of how men should act. Not only is my dad super respectful to my mom, he is also a hard worker at the office and at home. He mows the lawn and dead-heads roses. He often accompanies my mom to auctions, because that is her thing. He is romantic, but not in a pukey way. He just really likes the woman he married and does not mind showing it. For their 35th wedding anniversary, my dad (all on his own) arranged a dinner party with some friends that my folks met while living in married housing, without air-conditioning, during their early years of matrimony on a college campus. The laughter shared that evening was unforgettable and makes me proud to have such a fun guy to call dad.
My father also coached my brothers and me in multiple sports throughout our youth. He went to all of our games, along with my mom. I will never forget the one and only time they were late for one of my events. It was an away basketball game, with a big conference match-up, during my senior year. A few points had already been scored when they came walking in, but I did not really notice their tardy entrance because I was on the court playing. Afterwards my dad looked upset. But it wasn’t directed at me or about how the game had ended, he was mad that they had been late. He had been speeding to arrive on time and ended up getting pulled over and issued a ticket for his efforts. My dad just told the cop he knew he was going too fast and waited impatiently for his citation. He was rushing because they had to leave for my game later than usual due to my younger brother also playing that afternoon in a different town. They made both games, but my dad was still frustrated at being late. Things like this really show that my dad always kept us at the top of his priority list.
Not only is my dad a guy that loves sports and encourages athletic participation, but he is also a bookworm. It was great to be raised by a man who loves reading. He introduced me to a lot of great authors while I lived under his roof, and he continues to pass along books for my enjoyment to this day. Reading is such a strong life skill. It makes us better students, better talkers, and (hopefully) it is a basis for what makes me a half-way decent writer. Thanks Dad! (*Also if you are looking for something to read, my dad just finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly and Natchez Burning by Greg Isles. If you like Jeffrey Deavor, John Grisham, or Lee Childs…you will like these recommendations.)
Fathers and daughters have strong bonds, and I cherish being close to my dad. I have been really blessed to have a parental role model that is also a good friend. We have always had the agreement, since we are both middle-children, that we have to stick together in life. This is effortless, because my dad is very easy to love.
My husband takes after his dad in a lot of ways, and for that I am eternally grateful. My father-in-law is a laid-back guy (and also not big on social media), but as far as role models go, he could have a room full of trophies. He is the most dependable person and never asks for anything in return for his generosity. He lets my family overrun his cabin and take over his fishing boat whenever we want. He never complains when my kids build colossal messes in his basement that involve farm cats, cardboard boxes, and new couch cushions.
My father-in-law is a good listener and a steady-hand, especially in times of crisis. He is the one that gets contacted when you put a car in the ditch during a snow storm. In the event my husband or I ever need bail money, I know we will bother him with our one phone call. The stoic strength my father-in-law showed in the emergency room, after hearing that my sister-in-law did not survive her car accident was unparalleled. It is something that I will never ever forget in this lifetime. He held us together, during a very dark period. He did so by being calm, by being strong, and by being caring.
Happy Father’s Day to the three guys that hold this title in my family and also Happy Father’s Day to all of the other people out there working hard to be good role models. We appreciate your efforts! Father’s Day is a time for celebrating, so let us know if you have a great story to share regarding your dad, husband, grandfather, uncle, neighbor, or tuba-lesson teacher. You can drop a note to email@example.com or leave a comment on our website or Facebook page.