My husband's name is Dan.
We've been married for more than 12 years and we share four beautiful children.
Our first child was born in 2012. It was a really, really hard labor for me. After 30-plus hours of contractions, one hour of pushing, and another hour in surgery, I was a physical and mental wreck.
My first shower afterward was terrifying. I couldn't find the strength to perform one of my most basic activities of daily life. Every muscle in my body ached. My belly had just been torn open and sewn back together.
Fully clothed, Dan didn't even hesitate. He stepped into the shower, took the washcloth from me, and began to lather and rinse every part of my body.
To this day, I cannot think of a single other more perfect example of love.
Our 12 years together have not been perfect by any means.
We've had ups and downs, hard lefts, and total 360s. But throughout it all, Dan continues to care for me.
When I'm sick, he's nurturing.
When I'm overwhelmed, he takes something off of my plate.
When I'm sad, he listens.
When I'm unreasonable, he is sensible.
My husband is 36 years old and we share two boys and two girls.
Every day our children learn through his example.
They watch him, though he often doesn't even realize.
Sometimes my oldest son asks, "What's wrong? Do you need help with anything?" And, I know, he learned it from his father.
Sometimes, my sassy and usually-unwilling-to-compromise daughter (who is 8 going on 28) says, "Can I help you with the baby?" And I know she learned it from her father.
Every day they learn from him.
Every day they learn that life isn't perfect, but love sure is.
Twelve years, four kids, two dogs, and 1 million imperfect moments ... and Dan continues to show up for me.
Someday, our children will be grown. I can only hope that they'll remember how their father taught them to love.
Taught them respect.
And, I hope that someday they'll wash partners of their own.
And I'll be able to say, "They learned that from their father."