On June 14, 2016, five days before Father’s Day, a little part of my husband died. He sold a piece of his pride to quite literally buy the enormity of my future happiness. Ten years earlier when he first said, “I love you,” I handed him the keys to my heart, knowing this man would one day hand me the keys to a minivan.
Neither of us expected the purchase to happen so soon. We were not quite ready to start trying for our third child (our second child was still not really sleeping and our first child was still a year away from entering “free” school). We had no need for a new car, especially one with a third row. But when my husband’s sedan was rear-ended beyond repair, he accepted that the time had come to fulfill my swagger wagon dreams.
That two-year-old minivan represents, in the words of Salt N Pepa, “what a mighty good man” my husband is. With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to sing his praises.
So husband, “here I go, here I go, here I go again:”
You know what to do with my baggage.
I nag. I have a tone. My eyes roll on their own. I default to some only-child stereotypes. I have had some epic meltdowns. Apologizing is one of my weaknesses. It is a heavy load for you to bear, even when you are not the target of my unloading. Thank you for making space in your heart to understand my flaws. Thank you for convincing me that I need to and can lighten the baggage I carry.
You look at the big picture, not small problems.
I scratched the van pretty badly after I learned my fertility issues had not been cured by our spontaneously conceived second child. I was hysterical, jumping to conclusions about your reaction to the door and the prospect of treatments not working as well as they did with our first child. You let out a sigh, asked a few questions, and said, “It’s just a car. Don’t worry. We’ll get through this.” As I went through the process again, you calmed my anxiety by cracking jokes about the scarred door. Thank you for channeling your Mets devotion to make me believe it would all work out. Thank you for always reminding me that our struggles are minor in the grand scheme of the beautiful life we continue to build.
You roll with and rock at all of your growing responsibilities.
You maintain that the hardest life transition was going from zero to one kid (not that I agree). You sacrificed a lot – Friday nights at the bar, Saturdays at Citi Field, and golfing became even more sporadic – without complaint. You threw yourself into your new role as a father. You got up in the middle of the night to change diapers before I nursed. While I never really contributed that much to cooking and cleaning, you turned into a master chef and meticulous cleaner.
When we moved into our house and added kid #2, you thrived in all the new jobs. You fixed everything, gardened flowers and planted fruits and vegetables, painted, did all the laundry, trapped mice, managed the finances, cleaned crevices I didn’t even know existed, power washed windows, stained wood. And perhaps the hardest job of all, you somehow managed to get the kids out the door and do two drop offs during rush hour.
In between and in the midst of checking off that endless list, you are an all-star active dad, crushing the balancing game.
Thank you for everything you have willingly taken on in order to make my life easier. Thank you for turning our house into a home.
We’ve now been together for a third of our lives. When our last baby arrives in a few months, the minivan will be put to its true intended use. Even if the transition to three kids is difficult, you’ve given me faith that we’ll rock it together.
Father’s Day means more to me than Mother’s Day, because being a mother with a minivan was always my dream. It is you, as a father, who gives me a reality that is more beautiful than I ever imagined.
You’re the soulmate door I’d choose again and again, even if it stood right next to the $70 million door. You are my winning Powerball ticket. You are my ever-present future.
Now, let’s pack up the van with the bags from the weekend, and let the kids play corn hole as I shuttle you to local breweries. You deserve it!