My husband deserves this day.
He earned it.
The first four years of parenting, we were eachothers' childcare.
He worked days and I worked evenings.
I don't know that it was the easiest for our marriage, passing each other with a kiss and a crying kid, but it was what seemed like the best decision for our kids... and our wallets.
And it made him comfortable with all of the things that some dads aren't.
I never had to worry about the boys.
Lance could feed, burp, change diapers, calm, soothe, and clean up, just as good as I could.
He logged an uncountable amount of hours in his recliner, putting babies to sleep on his chest. He wiped hineys, he cleaned vomit, and he shared his bed for years longer than seems rational.
Lance has mostly been our voice of reason, although he has had his own irrational fears too.
Like during the toddler years, when our kids start crawling out of their cribs-- and I'd find him on their floor, with a million pillows stacked around come morning.
I knew Lance would be a great dad. But I didn't know it could be this good.
He is the parent that I strive to be.
Lance is patient.
Lance is calm.
Lance doesn't let much ruffle his feathers.
He takes them where he goes.
He lets them drive, when they can.
He buys them icecream, even when they haven't eaten dinner.
Together, they listen to music made decades before their time. Then they run it into the ground until they can all sing it word for word together.
Lance lets them help him-- even when it means it will take double the time.
He lets them gather sticks to make fires.
He takes them into mud on the Ranger.
He plays catch with them in the yard, after working 12 hours, without letting them know he's tired.
He buys them toys, for no reason at all.
He snuggles them up, like he has since the day that they were born, no matter how lanky and long their legs have grown.
Lance rubs their backs, kisses their lips, wears out the 'I love yous', and tells them how proud they make him every single day.
He prays with them.
He prays for them.
He lays with them on the nights they can't sleep.
They have seen him cry.
They have seen him mad.
They make him laugh.
And they undoubtedly know how special they are to him.
They respect Lance.
They mind him.
And they fear discipline from him, though it is pretty rare.
Lance has many faults-- I am not trying to make him a god--
but he is more than I dreamt him to be as a father.
And I am proud of him.
Lance is the guy that gives money to the man carrying his resume around-- promising he is not like the rest.
He bought baseball gear for a co-worker's kid once-- even though we were not in a financial place to do it.
Just yesterday, he picked up a kid walking to work in 100 degree heat, even though he would have reamed my ass for doing the same.
His heart is huge.
But not many people ever see that side of him.
I hope our boys turn into him.
He shows them what it looks like to work hard-- 7 to 8 days in a row-- but still put us first.
There was a time that he worked two jobs, and took the boys to the second when he could, just to get in that time together.
He shows them how to love your spouse-- even when she's bat shit crazy, hormonal or unreasonable.
He holds my hand and kisses my lips for them to see, so that they will love on theirs one day the same.
He is solid gold.
I mean it.
Happy Father's Day Lance.
Thanks for loving us the way you do.