My Kids Made Me, Me

Kids, it is time we sat down and had a little heart-to-heart. Let’s give them piggyback rides a break for a second. Let’s put down the dolls and the cars. Yes, let’s even turn off the video games for a while. We’re going to have storytime. No, it isn’t time for bed yet don’t worry. There is a cheesy line from an old movie you may or may not watch, It’s A Wonderful Life. In it, they say, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” Well kids, every time a baby is born a guy gets to be called dad. They say moms are moms at conception and dads are dads at delivery and I guess I follow that sentiment too. They say that you learn just as much from your kids as what you teach them. Having two of you, I felt like I have learned a lot. And well, Dad just has something he wants to tell you. Thank You.

When you were first born you taught me to love your mom in a whole new way. Watching her deliver you was the most inspiring thing I had ever seen and that was because of you. When you went into NICU you taught me how to hope. When you came home you taught me the meaning of joy. You taught me to be selfless. And when there were two of you, you taught me patience….a a lot of patience. You taught me to be humble in my knowledge as a dad, in that regard you taught me that I indeed knew nothing. You taught me the importance of being present in the moment and paying attention to the now. You taught me pride, from your first step to first words, to put together your first model car. I am prideful every day. In all these ways and more you taught me to be better than what I was a mere four and a half years ago.

Thank you, my babies. Thank you for being the best part of my day. You know that part of the day when I walk through the door and we all see each other for the first time. That time when I’ve been at work all day and you’ve been doing toddler stuff all day. That time of the day when you two first see me and I first see you. That time when your faces light up and I hear the first shout of “Daddy!” Yeah, that part of the day is what I’m talking about. You may not realize how much of my life is devoted to getting to that point in the day. Some days your dad is full of doubt and I just don’t know if I’m doing anything right. When I can get to that point of my day and I can look at you two and know that at least I got one aspect of my life going all right. Thanks for just being the absolute coolest. Thanks for thinking that I am the absolute coolest. Thanks for being the reason I get to use my imagination again. Thanks for being my accomplices when we play jokes on mom. Thanks for the early morning cuddles on the couch when I am not quite ready to be awake on a Sunday morning. Yes, even thank you for the tantrums and the breakdowns, because even in those times where you are not at your best I can find something to be thankful for and no it isn’t the adult beverages you sometimes see me drink.

I don’t think I ever thought about how much my kids have taught me and how much they do for me. I mean there are moments throughout the week where I tell them “Thanks for listening so well,” “Thanks for being you,” or “Thanks for the hug,” but never stopping and getting down to their level and thanking them for their part in shaping me into someone I’m actually pretty proud to be. I don’t think I could explain that concept to a four and three-year-old. I’m not sure that they would truly understand the gravity of my words and how much I’ve changed. They might not know until they can read this for themselves. They may not even know until they have kids of their own, but they’ll know.

In a strange way, I can’t thank my kids for inspiring this post. I know I just went on for four paragraphs expressing my gratitude towards them and all that they do, but I would never have thought to put words down if it weren’t for Pampers. They realize the vital role Dads play in a child’s life and how important and profound having a child can be on a person’s life. That is why this fathers day they are celebrating this incredible symbiotic relationship between father and child by promoting the “Thanks Baby” campaign. It is simply this; take a moment, any moment, and think about how your life has been improved by becoming a dad. Do so this Sunday, June 18th, when you’re sitting in your favorite chair and your kids hand you that handmade card, ugly tie, or even put down their phones long enough to tell you “Happy Father’s Day,” you aren’t just thanking them for the sentiment, you’re thanking them for them.

While I have partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers for this promotion, the thoughts expressed are my own. For over fifty years Pampers has promoted fatherhood and family. Make sure to follow the message on Instagram and Twitter by checking out #ThanksBaby Now go ahead and get ready to pretend there is sand in your eye…