Editor's Note: I've been working on this post for a week now, trying to get it just right. I feel like whatever I say, it won't quite capture the goodness and happiness Jason gives to Hadley and me. But what's a baby blog without a Father's Day post? So with this caveat, I'm publishing...
In honor of Daddy Day, I think it's about time we have a post about Jason, who is the rock in our family, the Steady Eddie to my Loopy Lucy. He is the calm and the security and the patience in our home; he's the voice of reason to my occasional freak-out; he's the gentle spirit who loves quietly and deeply. His family and friends know that once Jason loves you, he loves you forever.
And one look at Hadley with Jason, and even the most casual observer would know that these two are hooked on each other. Hadley adores her daddy (whom she calls "Da"); so do I.
Of all the good things in Hadley's life, one of the very, very best is a daddy who loves her deeply. I didn't realize until I was in high school how many girls long for daddies who loom large in their lives, who show love and enforce discipline, who cheer them on and make them feel safe, and who teach them to recognize the good guys and fall for nothing less. I have a daddy like that, and so does Hadley.
Best of all, Jason is an expert at showing love--while I will tell you all day long how much I love you. He loves in action; I love in words. I hope Hadley learns to love both ways, but if she can choose only one, I hope she learns to love in action. Jason serves and gives. He gets up with Hadley most mornings because even though he'd love to sleep, he gives me the gift of rest. (I also think he enjoys having Hadley all to himself for an hour or so.) He makes our dinner most nights because I'm not such a skilled chef; he fixes the swamp cooler so we'll be comfortable at home; plants our vegetable garden because I've been talking about having one for years; remembers to back up my computer because I forget--and he knows that I have plenty of precious writings and photos on this old machine. He's that kind of guy.
Hadley already knows it. Today, as we drove home from an outing, I said to her, "I think Daddy will be home when we get there!" So she grinned and started chanting, "Da! Da! Da!" Babies have great instincts; she knows that her daddy loves her deep and true.
I know it, too. When the enormity of raising a child hits me--when I realize the responsibility and hugeness of it all--I look at Jason and think, "Oh, okay. We can do this." This year has not been easy for us. We both work at least a few hours most weekends and nearly every evening; Jason travels once a month or more; we both wish we could spend more time with Hadley, and each other, and our friends. But when I start to feel overwhelmed by all we're trying to do and be, Jason is calm. He always reminds me to look at Hadley, who is a happy, healthy, secure little girl. He reminds me that we have a warm, cozy home, filled with good food, where people who love us visit often. When he prays, he thanks God first for our blessings, and first among those is Hadley and our family.
How does he know how to do these things, how to be the perfect balance of fun and serious, gentle and stern, patient and silly?
I do not know, but I am thankful down to my soul for him, and for all he is to Hadley.