You know...it's pretty normal to think about fathers when it's only the day after fathers day. But today I was laying on my bed cuddling with Paige. She's by far my cuddliest baby (who will be 4 in just over a week - by the way). Anyway, I was just thinking about how she's such a sweet well adjusted child...and then I thought about Hailey and how she's just so awesome all the time. And even Cait...who sometimes can be so cranky and hard to get along with (and rightfully so with all her kidney infections), but for the most part she's so fun and silly and lovable. And I just thought how BLESSED I am. I honestly have the best family...and it extends beyond my husband and our three girls, we have the BEST extended family too.
And then I go thinking some more (we cuddled for a long time), and my thoughts turned to Ben and how he's just such a good Father. I feel like so much of the confidence and ease my girls live their life with is because of their sweet and loving father. I'm the soft spot for them to fall (literally haha) - the place where they know their tears will be wiped and their scrapes will be kissed and where they can sit and cuddle for as long as they want. That's my role, and Ben's is that fun, bouncy place they LOVE to be - it's the place where they'll be tickled until they they can't breathe, where they can have pillow fights for hours, and where they'll get teased and joked with but in such a loving way that they learn how to take life a little less seriously and let things just roll off their back. He's just so good at what he does! So good at it. Ben's this quiet reserved guy, he's got a LOT of responsibilities and he never forgets any. Not a lot of people get to really know this guy...and I'm one of the lucky few. My girls are part of that lucky group too. They get to see him when he's silly, when he's serious, when he's quiet, when he's loud. They get to see it all...and most importantly they get to experience that LOVE he's got for them...and boy does he love his girls. Like I said, he's just so good at what he does! He's the type of Dad that teaches his daughters to be tough and independent, stresses the importance of reading and learning, compliments them on their stunning beauty, doesn't let them get away with being brats or mean to others, who will play and play and play with them, and who makes up long detailed stories and dreams before they fall asleep at night. He takes his parenting roles pretty seriously, and they girls know it. They know they can count on their dad to be everything they want and need, and then some!
So then I thought some more and realized that Ben learned a LOT about being this kind of father from his own Dad David. In my short time knowing Ben's Dad I've learned that he's the type of father who takes time to spend with each of his kids - but never makes a big show about it. It's this quiet, simple kind of love. The kind that makes you feel so safe! He skypes with his Daughters who live farther away...and he especially makes sure to talk to those grandchildren of his. I think he's more of the sweet, quiet type like Ben. Ben has really fond memories of farming with him as a child...of sitting on his lap in the combine for hours and hours and hours and just feeling like he was in the best place ever - his fathers arms. David is the kind of father who taught his son everything he knows...which is a LOT. I can thank him for all those handy skills Ben has...and for every thing that gets fixed in our home without a thought. Ben learned that from his Dad. I also see that sense of adventure that Ben has in his Dad. But most important to me is the kind of Grandpa he is to my Daughters. I'm not sure if there is a person that Paige loves more than her Grandpa at the farm (her Grandpa on a mission is in the running that's for sure). But on any given weekend we can ask the girls what they want to do for the day and they will always say "go to the farm". One of the biggest draws to the farm is that Grandpa is always there...and so is his Gator. He will take those girls of mine on ride after ride after ride. He'll let them tag along while he checks on calf's or feeds the cows. He just let's them go anywhere with him and I know there's no place they'd rather be then beside him, safe in his company. He's the kind of Grandpa who will hold the tiny hand of my one year old as she walks across the Barn yard letting her take all the time she needs. He'll even carry her soother in his other hand and keep it safe for later. He's the type of grandfather that always has a knee that's ready for a grandchild to sit and they're always welcome there! One of my favourite things about Ben's dad is that he took the time to talk to Ben and make sure that Ben proposed to me. He was pretty sure his son needed a bit of a nudge, and he made sure Ben did the right thing. And Ben did..eventually. I'm just so grateful for all that David is and for all that he's done for Ben and for us. I couldn't ask for a better Father in law and Grandfather to my children!
And then of course there's my dad! What can I even say about him? He's just perfect! He's so gentle and kind and loving and fair! He worked soooo hard my whole life to give us the kind of life he felt we deserved. He never complained about anything but just made sure he did what it took for provide for us. He wasn't the type of Dad that got you in trouble or ever made you feel bad...and because of that I was the kind of kid that didn't do things to get in trouble. You just don't ever want to let someone down who has so much faith in you! There was NEVER a day in my life that I didn't know my Dad was proud of my and loved me. He has always been very vocal with his love and admiration. I KNOW my Dad loves me and that he respects me and thinks I'm great! No doubt about that. He is the type of Dad that tells you he loves you at the end of every phone call (even when you're 16 and at a friends house). He's the type of Dad who drove me to seminary every single day and sat and waited in the car in the parking lot (in minus 20 weather) until I was done, and then drove me to school. He is the type of Dad that loved my Mom so much (and is not afraid to show it) that I knew I needed to marry someone like him. And I did. He's the type of person that no one (and I literally mean no one) could say a negative thing about him. He's just that good. And of course he's the type of grandpa that my girls adore. He will have tea parties with them and even let them use real food and water. He'll play dolls, and Barbies and Strawberry shortcake and puzzles and so on! He just gets down there and plays with those girls of mine. He'll also play the same song on the piano over and over and over again just to watch my girls dance and spin and twirl. He'll always bring up an extra Carton of juice for my girls at dinner time even though they usually just drink water...and he'll fill their glasses over and over again (my kids are easy the please). But then, he'll sneak them treats from Grandmas hiding spots and the girls just think they are so special because of it. He's just such a great Grandpa! But there's more to him. He's the kind of guy that wants to serve others...and will always find a way. Church callings are always important to my dad. And if he's asked to serve in anyway, he'll give it his all! Serving a mission for my mom and Dad has always been a dream...and although we miss them we're know how lucky the people of Joliette are to have them there. And even though this post is about Fathers, so much of my dad is also my mom. Because he just loves her so much and they do everything together. I feel like their relationship and they love my dad has for my mom has set the standard pretty high. My Dad is the reason I married a guy like Ben, someone who is so kind and considerate and loving. And I know that Ben being such a great guy has a lot to do with how great his Dad is. And then it all comes down to this...I've got some great Fathers in my life! I certainly could not ask for more!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and all my brothers and Brother in laws (some of who will be great Dad's one day), to my Father in Law, my Dad and to Ben! I sure LOVE you all!