If it is broken our Daddy can fix it. Big or Small - Matt can take it apart, figure it out and put it back together. This may seam like a small thing, but not to daughters. Knowing that your Daddy can always make it better is an awesome and secure comfort. Molly often brings me things throughout the day - her sunglasses, toys whose batteries have run out - and tells me "Broke Mom, My Dad fix that." Our garage door is finicky - and half the time, I can't get it to close as we are leaving the house. So I say to the girls..."Daddy will have to fix that for us." The next morning, when it decides to work again all on it's own, they cheer "Yeah! Daddy fixed it!" and I reply "Daddy is the BEST! He can fix anything!" A few weeks ago our gardener worked an extra hour in the hot sun planting flowers for me. So I told the girls, "Let's take Antonio some ice water. He's been planting some flowers because it's hard for Mommy to bend over with her big tummy. He's working so hard! He's the best!" Molly got very upset and angrily told me "NO MOMMY! - 'Tonio NOT best! My Dad best - he fix anything!" I told her - yes, that was right. Her Daddy was the best. Not our gardener :)
A is for ARMS.
Matt's arms are big and strong, brave and safe. They lift up his little girls high above anything that can hurt or scare them: strong waves at the beach, new dogs at the park, hot pavement in parking lots. These arms carry them to bed, push them on the swings, and hug their owies away. These arms also work three jobs so I can stay home and play. These arms protect our family at all costs and always put the three of us before himself.
T is for TEACHER.
Matt is one. He teaches 8th grade science and coaches high school football. When you tell the girls "Daddy's at work." They say, "Teach the kids!?" He is constantly teaching and coaching our girls. They know more about biology, physics, health and football than any other little tots I know. I took Megan to a nature class for toddlers at the Back Bay last Fall that was all about butterflies. The ranger read Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. At the end of the book, she asked the kids if anyone knew of some mistakes Mr. Carle had made in the book. One kid answered that caterpillars don't eat ice cream. Another said that bugs don't hatch from eggs. Good guesses for little ones, but not what the ranger was looking for. It was Megan - just three years old - who answered that butterflies don't come out of cocoons - they come out of a chrysalis!! (FYI - moths, not butterflies, make cocoons.) The poor ranger looked at Megan like "This 3 yr old just stole my thunder!" Just today, Megan came home from checking the bird traps with Matt to tell me they had seen a bobcat stalking some bunnies. She said "That's the Bible of the Fiffest, Mom"...which I pieced together to understand Dad had taught her about Darwin and "Survival of the Fittest." And whether on TV or the field, Megan can recognize first downs, touchdowns, quarterbacks and receivers and if our team is playing offense or defense.
H is for HERO.
Matt is mine and theirs. For all the reasons stated here and more. For his work ethic, his drive and dedication, his strengths, his faith, his friendships. For the way he makes us all feel safe. Because he tells all three of us we are beautiful everyday. Because I couldn't do this without him. And because he can always make his girls (including me!) laugh - and that makes everyday better.
E is for EXAMPLE.I love the example Matt sets for our girls everyday that a good, strong man respects, loves, and cherishes the woman in his life. He'll compliment, hug, kiss and tell me "I love you" in front of them. If he disagrees with me about something - we talk about it after they go to bed. He supports my interests and pitches in wherever it's needed around the house - laundry, dishes, baths, diaper changes. He's fiercely loyal to his family... and I love that my children will grow up knowing that Dad's love is unconditional and he'll always come to their defense.
R is for RUCKUS.
Dad is always fun. He is one who is always up for a game of Duck Duck Goose, Hide and Seek, or I Spy. Tickle fests and wrestling matches are a daily occurance. Somehow - when Matt reads "The Three Little Pigs," the girls laugh and squeal and wiggle with delight so much more than when I huff and puff and blow the house in. Matt throws them high in the air, spins them round and round, and does everything a little bigger and faster.
Happy Father's Day Baby! I never thought I could love you more than the day we got married. But seeing you be a Dad gives me new reasons to love you each day. Thank You for your love, your hard work and your endless energy.
On the Duffy Boat in Newport Harbor, Father's Day 2007