The Daddy

Today (August 6) is my husband’s birthday.  He will be 42.  I remember when we met he said he wanted to have about 3 kids and that he wanted to have them all by the time he turned 30, for sure by 35.  Tee hee.  He wasn’t exactly adamant about it, but he said it was because his dad was so much older when he was born.  Matt is the youngest of 10 kids.  The way I understood it was that Matt wanted to be able to do things with his kids, like be a little league coach, that maybe his dad couldn’t do after years and years of back-breaking labor as a farmer weathered him to a point which made it difficult, if not impossible.  Not that Matt would have traded his dad for any other.  I know I CERTAINLY would not.  I know with all my heart that his dad, along with the rest of his family, made him the man he is.  He works harder than any person I know.  AND HE NEVER COMPLAINS about anything.  Ever.  He is also the most selfless person I know, which I mentioned last week on FB.  So really his desire to have the 3 kids before a certain age was more of a suggestion or a “hey, this is what I was thinking” rather than an edict or demand.  It makes me laugh out loud to think of Matt making any demand of me whatsoever.  We have always been from the very beginning, a team.  I’m the cuckoo bird and he’s the calm one.  I talk.  He thinks.  We work things out and come up with plans and back each other up.  Then I nag him and tease him and he, in return, simply smiles or gives me endless compliments.  It’s a pretty good set-up if you’re me.

When Paulina came along it was clear we had blown his age AND kid limit in one fell swoop and I’m most certain he never gave it a second thought.  Actually by that time we had grown in our faith and knowledge of God and family so much that being open to more children just became a part of him.  When I was certain after a break between the first four kids and Maebelina that our family wasn’t quite complete, he went along as usual and what he ended up with was one little Mae Mae that adores her daddy.  Laura took this video tonight after they had dinner (compliments of my wonderful friend, Janene, thanks Jerneeen!!) at Laura’s house.

My husband is an incredible husband and an amazingly wonderful father.  Many of the reasons involve how he treats us and the things he says to us and does for us.  But at the root of it all is the man he is.  As I mentioned, he is entirely selfless and has a work ethic that is unmatched by anyone I have ever known.  Do you know that to my knowledge he has never, ever in over 20 years ever called in sick to work?  He has a sense of duty and responsibility in everything he does and especially to those he loves and he does everything he does for us with abandon.  But this just makes him sound like some stoic or tough guy.  And he is so much more than that. (link to photobook the kids made for him this Father’s Day)

On our first date I absolutely knew he was going to be my husband.  How, you ask?  Well, duh, he had “husband arms”.  Yeah, I didn’t know what they were either until I saw them.  As we sat there on our date and I admired his suntanned arms it suddenly struck me, they were husband arms!  I had never realized I had a criteria but apparently I did.  And he met it.  His arms were so strong but he used them so gently.  And to my mind at the time, that meant husband arms.  How right I was.  I’ve made mistakes in my life, but that was one thing I did not get wrong.  He has held every one of our babies in those husband arms exactly in the way I had imagined he would.

After we found out about Laurencia I saw something in him and see something in him that I haven’t before.  It was a sense of helplessness.  We both have it now but for him, I think, it’s very difficult since he has always been able to make it all better or at least half kill himself trying.  If he could work harder, get up even earlier (he really doesn’t sleep as it is), do SOMETHING, he would.  And he can’t.  But I think what he doesn’t realize is he already has.  He opened his heart and his life to each one of his children.  Rather than worry about how we would make having another baby work with our busy schedules and on our incomes, he simply said “yes” to life.

He has been at every single appointment I’ve had.  I would say to him, “You don’t have to come, it’s just a routine visit.”   But he would insist and be there no matter how many fires he was fighting at work.  Finally I realized about a month ago why he wanted to be there so I asked him, “Is it because you want to see her–see them–while they are still alive?”  Yes.  And of course the other reason was that he wanted to be there for me in case something happened or some other devastating news came our way.  I know that he didn’t tell me those things (his reasons) for fear it would worry me about his being sad or make me worry that something else bad was going to happen.  Rather, he would just sit next to me and I would intermittently glance over at his husband arms.  And I know that when they are born he will hold both of his new baby girls gently in his strong husband arms, just as he always has.

If you see him tomorrow or have his number, send him a quick “Happy Birthday” message would you?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBS.  I speak for these two squirming around in my tummy and the other ones tucked safely in bed when I say that they are all SO happy that you are their daddy, no matter how old you are.

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