After a long day of work, you come home and you’re tired, like really tired. The kids would never know that daddy is tired though because when you walk in, the whole house magically transforms. Those little voices shout and squeal “Daddy!” from the top of their lungs. Their eyes literally light up with excitement as their little legs race to meet you and their little arms stretch up for your big arms to hold them close.
Right away, they eagerly ask for back rides and to play horse. What they don’t know is that their daddy has back pain from working all day. You don’t hesitate for a moment though, and carry not one, but two children around. After many rounds of running around and many loud uncontrollable giggles, you swing them down to the floor so smoothly. Excitedly, they scurry around and bring you toy after toy, showing you their creations from earlier that day and creating new ones with you.
When you are finally able to sit down to eat supper, a little toddler always seems to find a way to climb into your lap. For some reason, supper only tastes good when it comes from daddy’s plate. While you’re trying to eat and feed the toddler, another toddler likes to talk your ear off and has come up with an elaborate plan of what you should play together next.
You don’t complain.
Well, maybe a side eye to me every once in a while, and I will laugh and then you will smile. You give in to all the silly play requests. You teach them things in a way that I can’t — in a way that only a daddy can — and you are helping them learn and grow.
After an hour or so, it’s time to tuck them away for bedtime. You brush teeth, change diapers, read books, pray and sing songs before kissing them good night. You do it again, day after day.
Thank you for choosing them. Thank you for choosing to be their daddy. These little moments will be the ones to build them, mold them, and give them strength and confidence as they grow.
You are building a foundation of unconditional love, when you will hold them, carry them, hug them, when you encourage and tell them the things you love about them, when you spend special time with them in a way that I can’t: you play the guitar for them, you ride “not super slow like mama” on the UTV, you build campfires, you provide for them and buy silly trinkets you know they will love and keep forever because a gift from their daddy is special. (To find out more about your child’s love language, read this article, “What Is Your Child’s Love Language?“)