I never knew exactly what a great Dad looked like until we had Wes. Chris has been completely hands on since day one. I've never had to ask for help with the kids. He just jumped right in, changing diapers, rocking, snuggling, bathing, feeding and wrapping up babies in a super tight burrito. Chris was in school when Wes was born and therefore got to spend a lot of one on one Daddy time with him while I worked. Maybe this helped make him a great Dad? I don't really think so. I think it was just in him all along.
Now, Chris works hard all day to provide financially for our family, then comes home and does dishes, laundry, gives baths, brushes teeth, reads stories, put babies to sleep with ease...whatever needs to be done to keep our family happy. You could say this year has been a rough one for us. The one thing I have never had to worry about was if the kids are being well taken care of. We have had to live completely separate lives for much of the year. Going many days with only a few text messages sent back and forth. One of us caring for one child in the hospital or in another city, while the other cares for the other two children. This is never how we wanted this last year to go...but it has been an effortless dance, thanks to the great father that Chris is.
It has meant so much to know that which ever child I could not be with was with their Daddy...their wonderful Daddy. Ellie knows that Daddy can always comfort her and make her laugh, and the boys want to be just like him...dancing around the house singing They Might Be Giants and Beatles songs, and dreaming of being super heroes. I know they WILL be super heroes one day...just like their Daddy.
There is one other especially great Dad that I know, who I suspect taught Chris everything he knows about being a wonderful, hands on father...Papa! We certainly couldn't have gotten through this last year without Papa. I'm sure this is not the way he pictured spending his retirement and yet he has never hesitated to jump in and help us anywhere and anyway we need it. Sitting with Nate at the hospital and even sleeping there a few nights, watching Ellie while I take Nate to clinic, picking Wes up from school and taking him for smoothies, taking my car in for service, sitting at our house all day with workers...the list goes on and on. It's no coincidence that one of all of the kids first words was, "Papa". Thank you Papa, we love you and appreciate you more than you'll ever know!