The Busted up Boots of an Everyday Hero

“You’re awesome, Dad!” our three-year-old exclaimed in Subway the other day as she hugged my husband tight. We looked at each other and smiled.

“You’re awesome, sweetie!” he replied with a twinkle in his eye.

“That’s a good daughter,” commented the Subway employee as he swept the floor.

“Yep. She sure is,” my husband replied still smiling at me.

You see, about a week prior, my husband started a new tradition in our family. He suggested we remind each other that we’re awesome. We’d had a rough start to our vacation after I had been an anxious passenger through the city traffic, and our one-year-old had screamed at the top of her lungs in her car seat for two hours during the first half of day one. After a long day, patience thin and tempers hot, we began this family tradition where one of us would randomly shout out, “Hey! You’re awesome!” to a round of “you’re awesome” in reply. We’d stop once everyone had been told how awesome they are.

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to be told you’re awesome? Especially when you’re in the middle of eating dinner at Subway and you’re three-year-old is the one to kick it off? Which she then decides is so awesome that she keeps it going? So began our new tradition.

That’s my husband. He is truly an awesome dad.

Daddy’s Boots

Every day he comes home from work, sits down by the back door and takes off his boots. I look at those boots as I walk by and notice how worn out they look, steel toe showing, the original color of the leather long since faded away. And these boots are only a few months old. No matter what kind of day he’s had, he greets our girls with a smile and an excited, “Well hello there!” They don’t see the tired body I see, the dirty, worn out boots, the grease on his brow. All they see is a daddy who is delighted to see them.

As I reflect for Father’s Day, I think about the awesome dads I’ve known. My own, for starters. I like to call him Mr. Chill. I’d say not much ruffles his feathers. I can count on one hand every time he ever yelled at me in my life, and exactly what I did to deserve it. (And I deserved every one.) A faith-filled gentle spirit with an unselfish heart, that’s my dad. On the surface my husband and dad may seem very different, my dad being more of the silent type and my husband the one with the outgoing personality who knows no stranger. Yet also in my husband lies that faith-filled gentle spirit with the unselfish heart to be the guiding light for our girls as they grow.

As wonderful as my husband is there are times I wish he’d be more like me. Moms, can you relate? Times you wish your husband would be a little more tidy, maybe quieter, less rowdy? I may get huffy when he gives the kids ice cream right before bed, but then the kids look at him and see a hero. ‘Yay, dad!’ They think. Yet isn’t that the point – to complement us mothers, create balance in the home? I think of all the wonderful things dads are great at.

What Makes Dads Awesome

Dads bring courage to push higher on the swings when mom says, “not so high!” The adrenaline to go faster when mom wants them to slow down. The confident encouragement to say, “Go baby, you’ve got this,” when mom wants everyone to just be careful. And the strong arms to catch them if they should fall. The encouragement to tell them to get back up and try again. Fingers to wipe tears off cheeks, and gentle arms to lift them up in a loving embrace.

Dads get down on the floor for tickle fights and pillow fights when mom laughs shaking her head from the couch. Horsey back rides around the house and shoulder perches around the park.

Dreams and hobbies set aside for long days at work and evenings and weekends of home renovations, car repairs, furniture assemblies, yard work, the occasional trips to the zoo and endless family firsts.

At the end of a long day’s work, dads give loving arms to hold and protect with a hug that says, “I’ll always be here for you.”

Yep, dads are pretty awesome, and I’ve been blessed to have some great ones in my life. Cheers to all the wonderful dads out there today and every day.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Copyright © 2017 Katherine J. Wheeler. All rights reserved.

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