On Father’s Day: Thanks for the Things the Cards Just Don’t Say


dear husbandDear Husband (and so many amazing partners out there),

We’re not in the stage of grand gestures, extravagant gifts, or even meals out as a family (if either of us wants to relax for more than .4 seconds, that is). You didn’t even get me a card on Mother’s Day. You did get me exactly what I asked for, and the kids made adorable cards for me at school, so I didn’t care at all. And let’s be honest – the cards at the store are overpriced and say the same few things anyway. So on Father’s Day, I’m not getting you a card either. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some sentiments to express. The card aisle has the mushy stuff covered: you should absolutely know that your time, your energy, your humor and sense of fun, your compassion and unwavering partnership make our family’s world so much better.

But I have some really important things to thank you for on Father’s Day that Hallmark just doesn’t cover:

Thank you for encouraging my girls’ nights out.

It’s not as easy doing the bedtime routine solo as it is with both of us there, but you do it a few times a month without even the slightest complaint so I can have an evening out with friends. You know that this saves my sanity and refills my cup, so you have grown to anticipate that I’ll have plans with some girlfriends every few weeks. And when I get the rare chance for a girls’ weekend away, you get extra bonus points and a million thanks for your cooperation!

Thank you for never expecting picture-perfect anything.

House, kids’ outfits, dinner presentation, me. You know that I try to do it all well, but lovingly accept that we typically end up with “good enough.” In our season of littles, perfection is beyond unrealistic, and it’s fun (or something like that) to fantasize together that someday we may eat a normal meal or have furniture without crayon marks on it. One can dream!

Thank you for golfing…during general naptime hours.

I could never expect you to give up your favorite hobby, though I do often lament that it is suuuch a long game. I am grateful that you try to schedule tee times that allow me at least a few moments of peace while the littlest still naps rather than forcing me to come up with entertainment for both children during the entire 5- to 6-hour span that you’re gone. You get bonus points for doing this even in the summer, when the morning is so much more enjoyable weather-wise for golf. (This is also your “guy time,” the perfect trade-off for my girls’ nights!)

Thank you for thanking me for the little things, too.

For example: If our daughter wants you to read to her that night, and you come back downstairs to a tidy kitchen, you often thank me. I usually think “well, duh…” because if I’m handling bedtime on any other night, I fully expect you to do the dishes. And you do. But I realize that it’s not whether something is “my turn” or “my job” that you are thanking me, it’s just that you realize how important it is to express gratitude for what we both do to keep things as functional and sane as possible around here.

So on Father’s day, thanks. And gratitude, my dear, is what Father’s Day should be about…with a $5 store-bought card or not.



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