When I opened my inbox this morning, there was a flood of posts about Father’s Day. Some people enjoyed it, some people didn’t. These sub-celebrations (sub to birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s Eve) haven’t ever had much of a look in in my family. I have never gone out for a Valentine’s Day date. And I think my mum and dad were lucky if they received a scrappy handmade card on their respective days. There are just too many days that need to be celebrated. I guess our family just chose to focus on a few.

Now that I have a child, though, the days take on a new significance. I am jaded if I don’t get a Valentine or a Mother’s Day present. I feel it is my obligation to give my husband a present on behalf of our two-year-old to thank him for being a spectacular dad. With child comes need to celebrate, repeatedly.

Typical for my husband, the father in question, he spent Father’s Day working. And so our celebratory efforts were minimised. But I did spend the day thinking about what an amazing father he is, in honour of his day. 

This is what I thought.

He is kind to our daughter. I thought long and hard, and I couldn’t think of a single instance when he has been unkind to her. It is a remarkable quality in a person. Try as hard as we might to be kind to our children, occasionally we slip up and get crabby. But not my husband.

He is patient. He works with people with disabilities and manages very challenging behaviours on a regular basis. He also spent eight years as a practicing Buddhist. His capacity to tolerate and to accept anything is enviable. A toddler-quake stirs not a ripple in his calm exterior. He merely sits and waits for it to pass. Kindness in his eyes.

He is funny. Even after the worst day at work, he manages to come home singing silly little songs about whatnot. As I cook, I listen to the stream of giggles coming from my daughter who is in the bath, being entertained by nonsense.

He is wise. So many times, my daughter has rejected his kind, gentle affection and has demanded Mummy! and every time, he smiles fondly at her, with love in his heart and his eyes, and does not take it personally. 

He is the perfect father, who teaches me how to be a better mum. All good parenting suggestions came from him, initially. It was he who thought being separated from a baby who sleeps in a cot in another room was unbearable. It was he who told me not to worry about the two-hour-at-a-time sleep routine I felt I had failed to achieve. Let’s carry her in the sling, he’d said, we know that works. Between us, we carried our little baby all day every day until at last she was happy to nestle into a cot or a pram to sleep. It was he that brought up the issue of smacking children one evening, and said that never ever in ten thousand and one years would anyone ever smack our children. It was he who never wanted our little girl to have to fall asleep crying on her own. It was he who encouraged me to sit with patience and compassion as our tiny little soul lost her structure and melted into a wet teary puddle on the floor.

Because of he, my daughter is sunshine and happiness.

We always joke about how he is number three.

1. Toddler, 2. Mum. 3. as an after thought, Dad.

But, really 3. Dad is the structure that supports us. The glue that binds us. The joke that keeps us happy on the crappiest of days.

So Greg, although we didn’t formally celebrate Father’s Day and I never got around to making pancakes, I want you to know how much we appreciate you and your amazing fathering abilities. You have given Father’s Day meaning and purpose, and have made our lives better, all at the same time.

{He got teary reading this draft}

Please come and join my community at Heart Mama on Facebook.

{Linking with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesday. Thanks Jess!}

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? A biggie? Or just another day?