Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers' Day

I find picking out mothers' and fathers' day cards difficult. Most of them are filled with sweet sayings about how moms and dads were always this or that (usually a reference to nothing short of perfection). My problem with that is that always seems like an exaggeration and the cards' references to them being almost God-like just seem plain silly. Call me overly analytical (because I am) and feel free to laugh. But I don't want to lie in a card so it makes things tough.

(Note to Dad: I already mailed your card, and while I know I meant what it said, forgive me if it uses the word "always" and know that I do mean what it says...even though I can't currently remember what it says.)

As I thought through what to write in this post, especially having read others' tributes to their husbands and dads, I was having the same troubles I have in the card aisle. Neither my husband or my dad are as perfect as the cards seem to think they should be. And that's exactly why I love them both so much...

As we finished out our fourth week of having Elise at home and the fifteenth week since she was born, we're still bumbling through new parenthood like everyone else. I'm tired and cranky. Kit isn't psychic. And it means neither one of us is always a peach to be around. But one thing I know, Kit is almost always the first one to apologize and the first one to forgive - two things I struggle with immensely. And he's always willing to talk through things with me - another thing I try to avoid from time to time. Both of these traits are things that I think will make him a wonderful father. Because being a dad isn't about being right all the time. It's about loving your kids the best you can, admitting when you make mistakes and being able to forgive when your kids do the same. I'm so thankful to have Kit as the father of my little girl.

Also finishing out this fourth week of having Elise home, I grow in admiration for my own dad. He's done this more times than most (I have five sisters and three brothers). I can't imagine. He too isn't perfect, but I remember fondly a trip we took to Montana with some other members of our church youth group when I was in high school. My dad, like my hubby, isn't a super emotional guy. So you know when the tears brim his eyes, he really means it. I remember at the end of that week as the group reflected on the week, my dad crying as he expressed regret over not spending more time with me and not always expressing his deep love for me. My dad was technically my step-dad (though I've called him dad for as long as he and my mom were married) until I was twelve, which is when he adopted me. So I've always known that he must love me a whole lot to have chosen to be my dad (and not in the choosing to have a baby sense but in the choosing to be the father of a little girl who talks too much). But in that moment in Montana (or maybe we were in Idaho at that point), I knew more than ever of his love for me in his apology for not being perfect.

So while it might be more status quo to post a tribute to how perfect my husband and my dad are, today I'd like to post a tribute to their humility in their imperfection. I love you both dearly.


Katie said...

What a beautiful post. You are so right about the cards - that's why I make my own and write my own message because most of them are too gushy for me and I feel like a fake sending them out if I dont really agree with the message!

I can't believe you have had Elise home for 4 weeks already!! She is looking great - so cute and nothing like a preemie any more - a tribute to Mum and Dad's love and care!
Katie :o)
P.S. Library books arent too bad, honest, ours even have labels in the kids books telling you to wash your hands first and dont read while eating so I guess that cuts down on some germs ;o)

Becca Sue Congdon said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Emily!

I love the picture of Ellie sleeping with Coco - and a laundry pile? It reminded me of a picture I have of Ethan laying on the floor and staring up at me from the laundry pile. :)