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A letter to my husband on Father’s Day

by Melanie Nicholas

Dearest Husband,

The Hubs with Bodacious on her birth day.

The kids, doglets and I have just returned from our trip to the dry cleaner’s and a lazy brunch. The washing machine is laboring away, and we have picked up our rooms and put away all the art supplies left out yesterday. It was a struggle. Your daughter cried. A lot. Cleaning is so not her jam, but then I overheard your son offering to help her clean her bedroom. It was a disaster area that had spilled over into their bathroom and hall. How anyone so small can make a mess so large, so quickly, is beyond me. Working together, it only took them a few minutes to get everything back right. Like you, that sweet boy is a sucker for tears and damsels in distress. I hope they will always be friends and partners, helping each other make messes and cleaning them up.

Our children have really started to play well together this year. I have only yelled at them twice and threatened to pull the car over once since school ended. As I write, they are getting out remote controls and firing up the Xbox One. I know another Minecraft marathon is brewing so I can work in relative peace. This has been a crazy week with the roofers and carpet cleaners here. I have felt frazzled after being trapped indoors with hysterical dogs and children for three days. They have felt stressed, too. But today, oh today they are angels and willing to help me work.

And speaking of angels, I loved spending last Sunday at church with you and our babies. Even though I cried. When the pastor asked where we thought we were on life’s road trip, I confess that in that moment, I felt like I might be pulled over on the side of the road, trying to read the damned map. But I looked over to see you, smiling at me and hugging our son. I was reassured because I married the very best driver.

You were such a good sport at the mall this week. I could not face taking both kids shopping by myself. Little Son needed all new shorts and bigger shoes, Bodacious required a longer dress for family pictures. Our baby giants, they are so strong and tall, just like you. They have had an unprecedented year of growth, both physically and emotionally. Thank you for helping me to remember to keep their hurdles and successes in perspective.

My sweet princes, The Hubs and Little Son.

I have enjoyed this slow summer. Already it has been filled with lots of little moments, and I have been able to savor them for a change. I am growing, too. I love watching you slow dance with our daughter across the kitchen floor. She may have my personality, but her assuredness that she is amazing comes from you. I pray that she finds a man just like you someday. Right now, she plans to marry her brother because he’s the next best thing. Your son, however, isn’t so sure about that. Thank you for helping me raise him. It is hard to raise someone so unlike myself. His appetite for knowledge and for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is stunning. He cannot ask me enough questions to satisfy himself. We saw a Mayflower moving van today and he wanted to know all about the company. He also wanted to know how large their trailers were. And if the moving company was named after the pilgrim’s ship, how large was the original Mayflower? Whenever he starts to question me, I can’t help but think about that other bespeckled kid, the one from Jerry Maguire who loved trivia. Thank you for getting me a phone with internet access. It has been a sanity saver. The human head might weigh eight pounds, but the Mayflower had four decks approximately 100 feet in length. She carried people, food, tools, bedding, clothing and guns. I keep reminding myself to be patient with him, it is not his fault that he wants to know more than I do. That “fault” belongs to you, and I can’t wait for him to ask you 1 million questions about how fireworks work in July.

I still remember the first night I realized I wanted to be a mother. It was 19 years ago, and we were walking through a dark parking lot in College Station. I looked at you in the streetlamps and knew that more than anything, I wanted to marry you and have children just like you. I also remember being completely surprised by that. Some girls grow up knowing they want to have families, but I had never before considered my own motherhood.

A few weeks ago, your son asked me what I thought God’s purpose for my life was. That was easy for me to answer. God sent me you, so that I could be a mother to our children. I am not always the woman or mother that I want to be. But I thank you for giving me the chance to try again every single day. Sweet husband, you are the very best thing. I could not ask for anyone better suited to me or our children. You are kind, steadfast, happy and true. You put our family first every single day.

Thank you and happy Father’s Day.

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