My kids have a great dad

06/15/2014 8:00 PM

06/15/2014 8:27 PM

To my husband on Father’s Day:

I just want to say, we notice. We know you work hard for us. Late nights. You don’t get to spend as much time with us as you want. But we notice all the little ways you carve out some of those precious hours to say “I love you.”

You say it when you take the boys up on that bike race across the driveway, squeezing onto the leftover toddler tricycle, all knees and elbows. You do this even when the neighbors are watching. Always an example, you balance a too-small helmet on your head.

You say “I love you” when you share with the boys one of your greatest joys: film. It’s so fun to watch the three of you comb through movie trailers, plotting your next outing. At the theater you feed them some forbidden, celebratory butter-drowned popcorn and Reese’s Pieces. And the ride in your battered 2002 Honda Accord, moon roof agape, windows down — you’d think it was a Lamborghini for all the boys’ raving.

It’s “I love you” when you reread “Star Wars ABC” for the bajillionth time, tapping into your Lucasian expertise and spouting extra details about each character. You’ve tried so hard to introduce the kids to your favorite movies, and you ignite when their tepid interest finally turns genuine.

You say it loud when you lay out blueberry pancake ingredients and the griddle before you go to bed on Friday nights. You say it again the next morning when you invite your little helpers to pour and stir, and you pointedly leave me in bed to sleep a few extra winks. The boys beam when they bound into my bedroom ahead of you, each precariously clutching part of my breakfast-in-bed array.

A lot of times, your “I love you” comes in the hours when you work the hardest, building a company so we can build a life. You sneak an “I love you” when you quit working at 5:30 p.m. to make dinner and spend a couple hours with the kids, knowing that your work is mounting and that you’ll have to hop back on the computer after their bedtime.

But even after that second shift, so to speak, you tell me you love me when you volunteer to go to the grocery store late at night. I tell you it’s OK, you don’t have to go, I’ll do it in the morning. You deflect, knowing that grocery stores plus preschoolers boils my blood, and you insist that you enjoy the escape from the house, where you work and spend almost all of your waking hours. You return with the essentials after I’m asleep, plus a treat for everyone: melon or suckers for the boys, no-bake cookies or flowers for me. We feel pampered.

Through the chaos, we might not verbalize our appreciation enough. But watch us gobble those pancakes. Watch the kids scream in delight as they race toward the Honda Accord for a ride.

Dad, we notice, and we love you for all you do.

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