When Piper was born, Neal was so enamored of her that I never got to hold her unless I was nursing. Even if she needed to be changed as I was nursing, he jumped at the opportunity to interact with her for that moment. A father was born and he has been growing ever since.
There are times, as a Mom, that you are at your limit. You have hit your ceiling of "moooo-om, she's hitting me" and never ever going to the bathroom alone. Ever. I am not even surprised by it anymore. Tag-team parenting with your partner is just the best. Every time I say "tag, you're it" with Neal, I inwardly say a prayer of thanks that I have the kind of husband that is happy to jump right on in. He takes them outside to run laps around the house. He bathes them, which is really a feat when they are hyper and slippery. His favorite part of the day is when he is greeted at the door by wide-eyed children who can hardly muster the patience it takes for him to change clothes before wrestling them and chasing them screaming through the house.
Neal offsets my need for structure and purpose and teaches the kids spontaneity and how to be wild. He teaches them that men can be strong and sensitive, that Daddies are a rock you can depend on, and that it's okay to admit when you are wrong. Best of all, he teaches them complete innocence. Whether it's building balsa-wood airplanes together, or chasing them through fields and wrestling them to the ground, he makes sure they have "normal" childhood memories.
If I hear howling laughter, I know he's showing them funny cat videos on YouTube.
He fills in my parenting blanks.
I am so grateful.
He is the ultimate fort-builder, family hugger, provider, kid wrestler, tummy tickler, and Lincoln Log builder. He makes swords out of Legos and encourages the kids to be physical. He is a just disciplinarian who makes sure spankings are always followed by hugs. He has unflappable patience when he is cooking and baking with kids who spill and crush (not crack) eggs.
He is the ultimate father.
I feel so fortunate to have found someone who balances me so perfectly, loves our kids so fully, and does most of it without a single complaint. And when he's not Dadding and playing at home, he's finishing his Master's and working 50+ hours a week.
SuperDad? Yep. He's earned it.