A Father’s Day Letter

Dear Cortney,

Happy Father’s Day, my love!  It’s been six years since you’re first one (and technically that day was two days before you actually became a father, but who’s counting?). Does it feel like six years of being a dad?

When we fell in love, I really didn’t have kids on the brain. I wanted to have a partner who was my best friend, who could laugh easily with me (and at me when appropriate), and who I could feel like a real team with. In fact, I know we both had reservations about ever having kids. We just really loved our life of just the two of us!  We could travel or sit home and no one was setting our schedule except us.

And then we accidentally got pregnant and miscarried.

Man.

It was like a ton of bricks, right?

I remember you holding me in the garage after the doctor’s appointment. I remember what you said as I buried my face in your shirt: “Well. I guess we know we want kids now.”

That was over eight years ago.

Remember that day you became a dad?

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And then three years later you did it again? This time a little wiser and prepared for a baby that  might just never stop crying?

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But then that kid was easy peasy…until he turned two. And you were pretty sure two was a good number, but I talked in you in to JUST ONE MORE…

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And so here we are. We went from “maybe no kids” to “Hey, we have three kids!”

I watched you bounce and pace with a colicky Eddie. I watched you be calm in ways that I just couldn’t be with Charlie. I also saw you yell out of anger and frustration for the first time in my life. Then I saw you fall in love with a daughter.

You are everything I thought you would be as a dad. You love your kids fiercely, but you have high expectations for their manners and accountability. You want to give them wonderful memories, but not a bunch of hand outs. You are firm, but so very cuddly and loving.

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Having kids has brought your silly side front and center. They may frustrate you to no end, but they also make you laugh harder than I have ever seen. Eddie’s random observations, Charlie’s looks, and Alice’s toots all make you chuckle in the best way.

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You have such a special relationship with each of our kids. Eddie is a thinker and builder like you are. Between the two of you, you could spend days with Legos or train sets and mulling over “constructions” for things to build.

Charlie is your communication clone. Both of you hold it in. The difference is you have learned to talk things through and not let things fester. Birdie is still learning. I have no doubts he will learn from you. He is also your helper. He wants a REAL rider lawn mower so he can do the front yard while you do the back.

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Your bond with Alice is new, but it shows in your eyes how in love you are with her. Your relationship with her is somehow different than that with the boys. You are softer with her. You call her dainty and tell her she is pretty. And she returns your attention with smiles and coos just for her daddy.

The day we were married you held my hands in front of church and rubbed them with your thumbs. I didn’t think I could fall any more in love with you than that day. My heart was so full.

Yet I fall over and over again watching you father our kids. Watching you be their silly “Dad-do” and their comforting “Daddy.” Being Charlie’s “Dad dad” and Eddie’s “Dad.” Soon you will be Alice’s doting “Da Da.”

Being a dad looks good on you, babe.

I’m happy we made these kids together.

Happy Father’s Day.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Um, excuse me, I have something in my eyes . . .
    I love the way you describe Cortney’s relationship with Alice, because it’s the same over here with L and her father. Dads and their daughters.
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