Sunday, June 20, 2010

Life Set to (His) Words...

 About four weeks ago, I asked my husband if he would add his words here about once a month. I have long been a fan of my husband's written word and I loved the idea of having his voice and his point of view contribute to this space that I do so love. I wanted so badly to open up the definitions and roles of fathers everywhere by giving the father of my children and voice in this big 'ole world. After some initial hesitation {and some encouraging by me}, he agreed. We thought that Father's Day would be the absolute best time to begin our new feature. So today, on this very special day, I am so excited to introduce you to the most wonderful man I husband, Brent!

Three Girls?!?!
by Brent {known around here as Dadddy}

That is exactly the reaction I hear most from people when our family is out in public.  And every time it surprises me a little bit more.  The comments from older men do not surprise me that much, I guess.  I am not so naive to believe that as our girls enter teenage years that home life will certainly become more difficult.  Many fathers still have recurring nightmares about those times.  However, we are cherishing our somewhat simple day to day routines at this early stage of parenthood.  I, personally, am in no hurry to get to the latter years.  The sound of a one year old yelling Daddy the second she hears you come in the door (or even back into the room you just left) makes one not want time to move one more minute ahead.  Having either one of our older girls ask a simple question yielding such a simple answer, but looking at you like you are the most brilliant man in the world.  Beautiful moments.

Which, again, makes me wonder how so many strangers look at me with pity to have three precious daughters.  Usually, I find out that these same people have one or more daughters of their own.  Do they forget those moments with their daughters?  Or, worse yet, did they not have them?  I would rather believe they somehow forgot.  However, I know quite a few men who look right past the present to the future.  I have learned that when you are preoccupied with thoughts of work, money, house repairs, etc. that you can miss some really great moments.  Moments that alone can make those other worries go away. Often, I have been sitting on a chair in our driveway after work thinking about various tidbits of my day that felt like total day crashers at the time, only to look to my side and see one of our daughters looking at me with a crooked smile seemingly saying "Come on, I'm here.  How bad can it be?"  And you know what, I haven't found anything that is that bad.  Just another reason to be thankful for those little girls.

So, I guess if I am trying to say one thing it is that I feel being a father to three girls is what you make of it.  I do not do everything right and I make choices with outcomes unbecoming of the world's greatest dad (I do want the t-shirt).  But, I do think what you get out of things is proportional to what you put in.  Example, last year I decided I really wanted to shift the whole families nighttime schedule just so I could meet some friends at the local drag strip on a Friday night.  My wife agreed (she's great like that) and we quickly bathed the girls so I could go.  I never miss bedtime if I can help it.  So, a couple hours later in the midst of tire smoke, alcohol-fueled exhaust fumes and car guy banter, a friend was talking to a group of us about how he just advanced to the next level of competition for that night and if we had any suggestions on how he might progress his car further.  As we are all talking, my mind quickly flashed back to earlier that evening to bath time.  Our oldest daughter had made us about split our sides laughing at a song and dance she performed, naked, before she got into the bathtub.  It was probably about ten seconds later that I remembered I was standing with about eight guys in the pits of a drag strip.  They were looking at me, oddly, as I would have been, too.  All I could say was that I was thinking about something else as I re-entered the conversation.  I can't remember how the rest of that night went, but I do remember how my initial feeling of embarrassment quickly turned to content.  I was just happy to have been in the moment enough that night at bath time to witness our daughter's "dance."

Which makes me wonder about that same friend from the races that night who has two daughters himself.  I know for a fact that he rarely puts them to bed or is part of bath time festivities.  So, twenty years from now, I wonder if he is going to be one that is quick to pity the man walking through the grocery store with multiple daughters in tow or will he see that man as someone that God has blessed multiple times over. 


Charlotte June 20, 2010 at 6:51 AM  

This is so lovely, Brent you write beautifully.

Much love to you both and your three babies xx

Jamie June 20, 2010 at 7:17 AM  

Beautiful post - I look forward to this new series.

Danielle June 20, 2010 at 7:26 AM  

Wonderful words! Happy Father's Day to you!

Jenn June 20, 2010 at 7:49 AM  

Your husband writes beautifully and I really enjoyed reading this piece. I look forward to reading more in the future!

Angela June 20, 2010 at 8:24 AM  

Nice to meet you Brent! And thank you for your beautiful words! They've really touched me today, on Father's Day. Honestly, this is a difficult day for me. My twin sister and I have have no relationship with our father. We lived in the same house as him for over 15 years, but he never even saw the inside of our bedrooms. We both longed for a relationship with him, and still do, but it just never happened. It's so wonderful to hear about a father who is very much involved with his daughter's lives. Your daughters will be very grateful for that as they grow up. God bless you and your family! Happy Father's Day!

Anonymous June 20, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

oh what precious words to have from Daddy. I wish my husband could do this. I cherish every card my father ever sent me and scribbled in how much he loved me, your girls will love this when they are way older.

Happy Father's Day, and thank you :)

{Amy} June 20, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

Great post, Brent. You and the girls are very lucky Maegan! But I'm sure you knew that already : ) Happy Father's Day to you, Brent!

My Craft Room June 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM  

Wonderful insight. I am a mother and a grandmother, time does fly by very quickly. Cherish the moments! My oldest daughter was and still is a sweet, kind, loving person. She has however had some really rough times in the past year with an illness. I can tell you that I would miss her terribly if she was not here to share all that sweetness, kindness and love with. All my children and grandchildren are precious to me. I will never take that for granted. Job well done dad!

Char June 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

beautiful - i know my father felt that. i always knew he treasured me.

blue china studio June 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

Well, I have to say this brought tears to my eyes. It is so refreshing to hear from a man and even more so a man who is a good father.

Happy Father's Day! And thank you for sharing your view.

R Montalban June 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

Hi Brent and Happy Father's Day (UK it is Father's Day you see!) so nice timing for your blog entry!!

You are so right to treasure these moments. We only have the one child, an amazing boy and Anders (my husband) and I have cherished every day of his life, always enjoying each phase of his life as he just seems to get better every day - that said, the previous days, weeks, months, years have been just as good.

Dexter our son is just like having another best friend in our lives - we just love having him in our company, and he loves being in ours - keep that togetherness going that's all I say as they just get better and better.

Once again, Happy Father's Day from across the pond! Actually you might like what I have put up today on the blog in celebration of Father's Day for my lovely Anders - having read your entry I think it might just make you smile as it did both of us!

PhotoPuddle June 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

I loved reading this post. We have one daughter and my husband is just like you, he would never miss a bath time if he can help it. It's his favourite part of the day. And if we went on to have a family of three girls then I know he'd be the proudest dad in the world!

Corinne June 20, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

What a great feature :) Thank you guys for sharing this! What a fabulous idea. And Brent - I love your take on being a daddy. My husbands is similar, and it's so rare to find, it seems. Happy Father's Day to you!

SweetPea June 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

Wow! We have three daughters of our own and I think you said it best! What would our lives be like without sugar and spice and everything nice? Answer: Nowhere near as good as they are now!

Happy Father's Day! Great post!

Anonymous June 20, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

Such a nice post for Father's Day. I'm sure my husband would say the same things about raising his daughter, and she is now thirty. I don't recall any hair-raising events during her teenage years. In fact, her younger brother was the one who gave us "the run for the money" during his teenage years. Wouldn't trade either of them for anything!!!

Johnna Riddell June 20, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

Maegan... wow... how cool is your hubs ;) I loved this, thanks for bringing it to us...

Now... Hubs... This was a wonderful read. I love that you brought us into your daddy mindset. :) You write so perfectly and I am looking forward to seeing your weekly perspectives. It reminded me of my Daddy, and how when my baby bro was born, everyone said "O you finally got your boy" or "Well, if Jake would have been another girl it wouldn't have been such a big deal" to which he would respond with "My Girls are Awesome, they are blessings and I love them to pieces!! I didn't need a boy or a girl to be full filled I just needed this child and I need ALL my children equally"
Anyway, I like that you said, "Abundantly Blessed" :)
... and how you wrote "she is just cool like that" about your awesome wife... she is that cool! She's such an inspiration to me. I appreciate her so much!!

Happy Father's Day! -- and I hope you get the shirt!

Kristi June 21, 2010 at 1:10 AM  

What a truly beautiful and touching post Brent! I love that you cherish your time with your daughters and that you try to be in the moment...that is amazing! I know many father's who think of things such as bedtime, reading or anytime is more of a chore instead of a blessing. It's sad really because as you have stated above they are missing out on so much goodness. I do hope you had a Happy Father's Day and thank you for being the father and husband that you are. And thanks for sharing Meagan with us. We love her. ♥

Kylie June 21, 2010 at 2:21 AM  

I'm one of three girls and my father hated when people made remarks about his "lack" of sons. He is by no means perfect, but I never had any doubt (especially as the youngest and therefore his last chance of a male heir!) that we were perfect in his eyes. I credit him for my belief I can do anything, simply because he never told me different. Well done for being a father whose daughters will think you being there is the norm.

Angie Ray June 21, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

Ok this very nearly left me in tears for so many reasons. The first and most obvious one - I'm a mother of a girl. The other reasons, without going into too much detail here, are a mix of feeling immensely grateful for the fact that I know MY husband feels the exact same way about OUR daughter (even though she's an only child so far) and being so happy for your daughters to have a father who thinks and feels this way.

I think the "pity" you sense in some of those stranger's comments has to do with the fairly primal desire of a father to have a son - so seeing a dad with three girls maybe somewhat naturally makes them go "Oh wow, three girls, no son..? Poor guy.", but of course that's only speculation. Either way - thanks for thinking/writing/sharing this, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

melissa d. June 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

awe, this is great!
we have three girls too (3 months to 6 years)
i am defiantly going to pass this on to their daddy!
i know he wonders about the future a lot, but he is also good about being present in the here and now.
thanks for this!

Hyacynth June 21, 2010 at 10:11 PM  

Brent, you and my husband would be good friends. I love your sentiments about being present. And I bet because of the time you spend with them now, you won't be really pulling your hair out later. Fathers are such a huge part of how a little girl sees herself when she's little and even when she's not so little.

John June 21, 2010 at 10:40 PM  

I agree 100%, if you invest the time and effort it pays many times over later in life. My boys are totally a blessing and the "light and momentary troubles" we have with them now and will have in the future don't bother me since I am developing a real lasting relationship with them.

~ Kim ~ June 21, 2010 at 11:59 PM  

This is beautiful. My husband adores time with our three children. There isn't any task I've done with them he hasn't done himself. I wish there were more fathers like that. Your girls will remember thoes moments forever.

Johanna June 22, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

Thank you. My husband is like you, he is very involved with our kids (a girl and 2 boys). He too is involved in the bedtime routine and now that our girl is almost 16 and doesn't want to be tucked in anymore he says he misses it very much. He will sneak into her bedroom anyways and kiss her good night.

janine June 22, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

Oh it's so lovely to see that Daddies are really thinking the same thing as the mummies :)

Boy Crazy June 23, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

Rebekah sent me here after reading my last post and I have to tell you - I'm one of 5 girls in our family. To THIS DAY, when I tell people that, they say without fail "Your poor dad!" But he, like you, loved it. He wasn't that involved in bath and bedtime, but he was fully engaged as a father. He taught us to sail, to play ball, and to change a tire. And when I cried my eyes out over a highschool breakup, he came up and sat on my bed and told me he understood, and that it would get better.

You sound like a wonderful father. your girls are lucky to have you.


mary June 25, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

nice! i am the mother of 3 beautiful daughters and last saturday the father walked his eldest down the aisle at her wedding. oh the memories you will make with 3 daughters and the memories to come. . . enjoy!!

Diana Joy July 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

I have huge respect and fondness for men who are involved and appreciative Fathers. Like what you are all fortunate.