I have a precious Dad. He embraced fatherhood with loving arms and a sacrificial spirit. He was a truck driver, which was something he always knew he wanted to do, and while that meant occasional lay-offs and less acknowledgement than a corporate job (by some people), I always admired the fact that my dad followed his heart and did something he loved. Not to mention, it’s a pretty vital job, if you think about it. Much of what you buy is shipped by a truck driver at some point. When Ashley and I were little, we shared a shirt with a picture of a little girl sitting on a toy tractor trailer truck that said, “My Daddy’s a Truck-Drivin’ Man!” I loved that shirt, and I would have worn it even today, if it still fit. I share that so that his sacrifice makes sense. He had to bid on shifts, and he always bid around our schedules. When we were in high school, we were all three involved in some type of extra-curricular activities. Actually, it started in junior high for Dale and middle school for Ashley and me. He went to everything he possibly could attend. Football games to watch our half-time shows, softball games, chorus and band concerts, and drama productions. I will never forget Honor’s Night of my senior year. I had received an invitation to attend, meaning I would be receiving an award of some sort. Dad was sick, so I told him to just stay home and not bother coming, since it was probably just an English award or some other special recognition for good grades. I was a decent student, making honor roll most of the time, but I was far from being the top of my class. I graduated with some smart folks. Low and behold, I was selected for a special scholarship that my high school offers. Now, I had applied, but remember, I graduated with some really smart folks. I never thought I’d get chosen for it. I called Dad on the way home, and he was so disappointed to know that I had received the scholarship and that he wasn’t there to see it. That’s just the kind of dad he was to us. He would also leave us notes the night before a big day, like auditions for honor band and All-State, if he was going to be at work by the time we woke up the next morning. I’ve even kept some of them. I am so blessed to be able to call him “Daddy”.
So for me, when I envisioned being married one day, it was definitely going to be to a man who would be a good dad. Now you can’t know this for sure ahead of time, but you can usually get a pretty good idea. Adam and I began dating when I was 15 years old. Now, we didn’t go on an “official” date until the weekend AFTER my 16th birthday. That was a rule that my parents were sticking to, no matter how much they liked Adam! However, he was already my boyfriend at that point. I remember a very distinct conversation with him, while sitting on the steps between our high school and the neighboring middle school, where we both said we wanted a lot of kids one day. Our magic number was four. I guess you could say that we just took our magic numbers and added them together, since we currently have eight children! Adam’s brother was almost eight years younger than him, making him 8 years old when Adam and I started dating (though he towers over BOTH of us, now), and he also had very young cousins. I had seen him with kids and could tell that he loved them like I did. I knew even then that he was going to be a great dad.
Not only was I right, but he has simply surpassed my expectations. As we were sitting at Addison’s dance recital just last weekend, I noticed the way he would giggle at dances done by classes that didn’t even include our daughter. I commented on it, and he said that it reminded him of when Addison was that small, which I even struggle to remember! As I type, he is sitting on the couch with our newest addition, loving on him and giving him some extra attention. He does so much for this family. Aside from maintaining a full-time job which provides income and medical care for all of us, he also has picked up teaching a few classes at the college right down the street. He comes home and willingly prepares dinner most nights (which was difficult for me to do when pregnant because of my extreme olfactory sensitivities), or if we don’t have a dinner plan already, he’ll pick up something on the way home. He gives great credit to me in my daily tasks of caring for the kids and doing what little I can around the house and gives me a little break from those tasks on the weekends by taking on some of them himself. His money that he earns is our money. He does not feel the need to “get away” through other activities that do not include us. As a matter of fact, I have struggled to get him to just take some time for himself so that he can exercise or work out. He changes diapers, does bath time, and reads bedtime stories without complaint. He has even put a pony tail or two in our girls’ hair! He is simply an amazing father who enjoys being with his kids and taking care of this family. Most importantly, he seeks to honor God in this role of being a daddy. He wants to guide our kids with loving discipline. He wants to help them understand the promises and the commands within the Word. He also desires to be the right example to our boys AND our girls. I am so blessed to be able to call him my husband, and equally grateful that my kids get to call him “Daddy”.