Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 78: The One Where Wifey Blogs Instead

Andrew set a goal to blog every day for a year. That's why, as I (Wifey), write this special edition blog on Andrew being a wonderful father, he is dictating the whole thing.  Still counts.

From the very beginning Andrew has been a complete natural at this whole fatherhood thing. Before the Boy was born, Andrew read to him almost every night out of what has become their favorite book together, The Jesus Storybook Bible. He prepared for the birth with lots of prayer and much anticipation, and read a book on how to coach me through labor so he could save us the cost of a doula. He was a pro and would probably coach you through labor if you asked. Just sayin'.

And then, the Boy entered the world. We immediately loved him more than we ever could have imagined. Andrew was unfazed by the crying, the sleeplessness, even the diapers. He just couldn't wait to bring the Boy into our lives and teach him as much as possible while loving him with all he had. During our third week as parents of an infant, Andrew took time off of work and made me leave the house once a day so that I could be refreshed and reconnected with the outside world and he could bond with the Boy. Who does that? I was talking to mom friends who at 6 months had never left their husbands home with their kids, and here mine was confidently encouraging me to give him that time in the very beginning.

I'm pretty sure Andrew evoked the first giggles, and that has carried through into this relationship with our son now. Andrew comes home from work and silliness bursts forth. The way Andrew throws the Boy around, makes up goofy songs, creates fun games with balls and boxes and hampers....I get to see a whole new side of our son whenever the two of them are together.  The Boy has a whole different laugh with Papa. It comes from somewhere deep and it is awesome.

Andrew has started taking the Boy out for a little Papa-son time on the weekends. They've done lots of things, but this usually involves time playing at a park. I have come to expect that when the Boy comes back from these times, he will first of all, be exhausted and filled to the brim with activity and fun, but he will also be just a little more confident on the playground than he was the day before. Andrew helps him explore his abilities, test his limits and try new things. He goes on bigger slides, by himself, when he is with Papa. He tries more things on his own because Papa is confident he can do it and sure that even if it doesn't go perfectly this time, it will be a good experience and will help him the next time.

Andrew cares. Like he really cares.  He wants to teach the Boy about things that matter. He wants to point him to Jesus. He wants to be a model for our son (even in the "life skill" category of teeth brushing). He believes that when it comes to matters of faith, principles, discipline, and redirection, we should begin explaining our thought processes to our son now- even if he doesn't fully understand it yet. In Andrew's mind (and I totally agree), the Boy understands a lot more than we know, and even if most of it goes over his head, this is a valuable opportunity for us as parents to grow accustomed to those chats and really flesh out what it is we want to say to him.  It has been a humbling experience to try to start explaining something to the Boy and then realize we have no idea what we're doing. But Andrew and I are in it together and I'm so thankful he's encouraged us to begin this process now. It can only benefit all of us in the future.

I was reluctant to give over the bedtime routine to Andrew because, well, I liked putting the Boy down. And it seemed to be working for us. But if you have read Andrew's previous post on his nightly routine with our son, you know that I have relinquished this honor to him and they have a really good thing going now. In fact, bedtime has never before been more joyful and seamless. The Boy can't wait to open up the Jesus Storybook Bible and look for all of the characters he's grown to love through his time with Papa (Isaac, Paul, Jonah, the girl doing cartwheels, "Jabop" to name a few).  Andrew sensed that our son needed a change in their nightly song, so he sped it up a ton and helps him clap along and has made it a whole different experience. The Boy loves it. The best part about all of this for me, is how Andrew has expressed to me multiple times how much he looks forward to this time and treasures those moments with our Boy.

This may seem like a small thing, (and an odd choice for a final accolade) but I think it's a really big deal. Andrew comes home when he says he will. He is never late. I mean that. The Boy and I know when Papa will walk through that door and can't wait to greet him. Andrew makes it a top priority to get home in time to hang out with the Boy and put him down to bed. He usually begs us to meet him somewhere fun outside so they can throw a ball around for a few minutes and get fresh air. He does this even if it means putting in extra time on work once the bedtime routine is over.  He's a reliable dad who makes it a priority to get quality time with his kid every day....truly who could ask for anything more?

Andrew, you are an amazing, exemplary father. You love the Boy (and the Peanut on the way) with a deep love that I would imagine will give them great confidence in the future. Dads have that unique opportunity, and I think that our kids will have that piece of their hearts totally full and secure because of the time you put in with them. It's true. Most importantly, you are teaching our son about how God sees him, loves him perfectly, and shows him unfailing grace no matter what. You are a beautiful picture of a man who has been adopted into God's family, and are leading your wife and children into His presence and love with everything you have. It is an honor to parent alongside you.

Happy Father's Day.

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