In the past week, our one year-old daughter has eaten a ladybug, a business card and a dust ball. She’s lucky she’s cute because she’s also a little gross.
My husband whispers to me, “Have you seen how cute she is? Is that normal?” He constantly asks me whether the things she does are normal. Which would be understandable if she was our only child but this isn’t his first rodeo.
We also have a six year-old son who we over-parented for five years before our daughter arrived. We truly believed we had it all figured out…until we had a second child.
Although he is a very involved dad, when I leave the house my husband will act as if he’s never parented in his life. The children will be half-clothed when I return and someone will not have eaten. It’s not because he’s dodging his responsibilities. He’s working really hard, actually. Dads just do things differently.
So, they might all be half-clothed and hungry when I get home but my husband and kids will have built a fort in the living room, dug up worms, fixed my computer, watched the baseball game and gone for a bike ride.
This is what he does. He is present and utterly devoted to us. He takes care of things. He’s a classic gentleman: strong and smart and witty, yet humble and kind. And he’s right there doing the hard work of parenting with me.
The other day, my son opened my car door for me when I got home. Then, he walked the babysitter to her car in the rain with his Star Wars umbrella teetering above the two of them. In that moment I realized he’s just like his dad. How lucky for us all.
As for our daughter, we’ll have to see. At least she’s cute and hopefully that’s normal.