Peter and I were married for six years before we had kids, and we had been dating for five years before that. We both remember distinctly the dinner where we looked each other in the eye and one of us said, “Do you ever consider never having kids?” We don’t even know which one of us said it because we both wanted to ask the question. For the next few years, we fluctuated in and out of ambivalence about parenthood. I finally realized that I was afraid of who Peter would become as a father. Having kids might change our relationship to each other. It might change what I admired about him or what he thought about me. It might limit us in ways we didn’t expect or want. It might be really hard.
It has done all of those things and more.
Over the past sixteen years of seeing Peter as a father, I’ve witnessed playfulness and fierce protectiveness and gentleness and hope and vulnerability and love. We’ve fought more and cried more and worried more and hoped more because we have cared for these three together.
Our kids have a dad who shows up for soccer games and parent/teacher conferences and driving to dance. A dad who does the dishes and takes them to the orthodontist and introduces them to adventures their mom would never consider. A dad who rests with them and laughs with them and prays with them and for them. A dad who tells them about the things that bring him joy. A dad who tells them when he makes mistakes. A dad who loves them to their core and wants them to know it.
I am so very grateful.
Happy Father’s Day!
More with Amy Julia:
- Slowing Down in Our Family’s Fast-Paced World
- Family Game Time: The Name Game
- Feeling Our Feelings as a Family
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