Have you ever stopped to think what makes up a perfect father?
Probably not. I get it. Perfection in parenting is a unicorn. You don’t do it. I don’t do it.
We certainly aim for it, but we are constantly falling short.
As a witness to one of those unicorns, I’m here to break it down for you.
Delaney and Cooper’s dad – Jeff – has achieved that.
He may not always float on this almighty cloud, but for the moment, as he wakes on his birthday, his biggest life goal falls firmly into the success category. It has come with sleepless nights, tears of confusion and worry and the beauty of realizing, despite second guessing, knowing he is right where he is supposed to be.
And thus we find ourselves dissecting the anatomy of a father.
Or rather, fatherhood, perfection unraveled.
To let him wear eye black and wrist guards because he is emulating his big league heroes and you – dad – you. He mimics your stance and posture. He is a mini version of you.
It is spending vacation catching and throwing – not because you must, but because you WANT to do so. Their happiness gives you joy.
It’s feeling your blood pressure rise when someone dares to say, ‘she plays like a girl’ because you know her play is magic.
It is actively choosing the front row: you want to be there for the wins AND the losses. Maybe you coach. Maybe you sit in the rain and cold, hands frozen from the temperatures, but still cheering. You take a bleacher seat in 95% humidity or wipe tears when they don’t get the part, when they don’t make the team, when the ‘A’ they were positive they earned slips through their fingers.
You sit up until 11pm on a Tuesday to study 6th grade math.
You spend Friday nights in the front yard pitching to your girl and catching for your pitcher.
You make them giggle, take credit for their blooming sense of humor and swear the silly family photo idea was all yours.
If they had written a letter to God in the moments before they were born – sharing a list of what they most hoped for, what they most needed in a FATHER, in a DAD, in a DADDY …. they would now be watching God smiling, checking each item off his list, winking, one by one, as they said their prayers each night.
Fatherhood perfection IS a unicorn…but much like the mystical, the magical….we know in our hearts it is there somewhere if only we believe.
Cooper and Delaney believe.
For good reason.
They have a white knight who proves every day he will always be there for them.
Happy birthday to the most Extraordinary father we know.