Can I tell you all a little secret?
Sometimes, when I’m watching my husband get really super duper frustrated with something kid-related (like, say, puddles of milk and/or pee on the floor, stepping on a Lego razor blade in the middle of the night or having his toe turn black and blue because our one-year-old kept hitting the same toe with a hockey stick) I am just so filled with sympathy that I laugh out loud. Yes, you read that right. I laugh out loud.
When my husband and I met, he was 33 and well-set in his bachelor lifestyle. He left a cup of water on the counter and it was still there when he would return. He had meticulous wood floors spanning the rest of his meticulously clean bachelor pad. He was living his dream. His weekends were his own – full of social time and trips to Costco that would always include picking up a household gadget or 4 for himself because he was a respected professional man with a salary that he could spend all on himself. Life was very much a controlled environment. Then we met, we fell in love, got a dog, got married, had a baby boy then another baby boy, we’re having yet another tiny human this Fall and life has been forever changed.
So I laugh out loud at imagining the look on that 33-year-old’s face when I tell him that fast forward 7 years and he has a dog that scratches up the wood floors, a preschooler whose specialty is leaving messes all over the house, and a toddler who loves to “sip!” out of your water glass and leave lots of floating surprises in return. I would love to tell him that soon he’ll become a straight up pro at diaper changes and the art of distracting during, ahem, messy diaper changes. Oh, and that he will soon go to Costco with a very specific list and a very specific budget. My personal favorite moments are when he does his parenting from a 3 piece suit. Honestly just thinking about it makes me double over in laughter sometimes. There is nothing funnier than watching the extreme exasperation come over his face when he’s been in the door for 2 seconds and our blueberry-laden toddler flings himself over to Daddy and Daddy’s white work shirt because who is going to turn down such an enthusiastic hug? I love when he posts hilarious pictures on Instagram hashtagged #dadlife, and you know all the while he’s thinking to himself thoughts like “You can do this” or “They have to go to bed sometime.”
My favorite part of watching my husband become a dad is watching his relationship with our sons grow and blossom. He loves our boys something fierce and I know that he would do absolutely anything for them. Honestly the rate at which he can go from utterly frustrated to laughing and giggling over something like farts or man dumps never ceases to be surprising. One minute he will be pulling his hair out negotiating over the acceptable amount of peanut butter for oatmeal and the next he’s fully suited up to go downstairs and play some hockey. He went from protecting these little, tiny, fragile babies to wrestling with them on the floor in no time at all. I loved seeing the way my husband’s chest swelled in pride when our oldest took his first unsteady glides on the ice rink. Or the record time in which he can effortlessly scoop up a crying baby from the floor to soothe them. Now THAT’S a sexy move, amiright?
I’m sure that 33-year-old bachelor would be shocked as all heck to see how his life was going to change, but I also know that my almost 40-year-old husband would tell his past self that life is so much better now. It has significantly less sleep and time and money and significantly more messes to clean up, but it’s all worth it. How do I know this? Because my husband tells me this and tells me he wouldn’t trade #Dadlife for anything else in the world.
So Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads out there. May you have a day filled with all the things that remind you of what an incredible man you are and that you’re doing an incredible job raising incredible human beings.