Dear Superhero daddy, It's not that we expect you to be our superhero. Or that we expect you to be as great and mighty as a superhero...you just are. That's what you are to us. Superhero.
I see you tired and weary as I. Giving every ounce of energy to protect, care, and serve your family. It doesn't go unnoticed, although it might go unacknowledged.
Daddies don't necessarily get the "loud" expectations mommas do. You know the ones (I have complained about them a thousand times). The mom blogs or the online motherhood help articles reminding us of the glory of motherhood, telling us how to be the best mom. Nope. No one tells you if you should bottle or breastfeed, stay at home or work, homeschool or public school, blah, blah...
No, the expectations thrown on you are most times silent. We don't talk about them much, but just as there are societal expectations for moms, there are for dads as well. I know that there are stereotypes and pressures you face. Inadequacies. Standards you measure yourself against. Mistakes and failures you feel you regularly make.
I know that although you (as most men) don't talk much about them - they are still present. And I know the feelings of unmet expectations and mistakes have got to make you weary at times. I am sure at times you wonder if you are strong enough or capable enough. I am sure my nagging (hey, we all do it...at least I am willing to admit it) does not make things easier for you. And I know we are always needing more from you than you feel you can give.
In our eyes, you are strong and capable enough. In our eyes, you can move mountains. You are Mr. Fix-it. :) When we look at you, we don't see your imperfections - we just see an incredible amount of love. Everything you do - great and small - matters and makes a difference.
I see you work tirelessly all day at work, being pulled in every direction. Just to come home, and work tirelessly - being pulled in every direction. Three babies and a wife fighting for your attention and help.
It's in the way you share the responsibilities of our family and home. Remember the nights I had enough, and went to bed early - leaving you to baths and goodnight kisses? The baby and toddler days held oh so many of those.
Patiently guiding our boys, you teach them how to respect and serve others well. Our daughter will never wonder whether she is loved, cherished, and protected. Daddy's "bug" will know confidence and respect for herself because of your Godly and loving investment and care.
I see the way you value me as more than your wife and the mother of your children. It is actually what keeps me from falling into the pit of motherhood guilt and pressure. It motivates and encourages me to remember who I am at the core. Your belief in me and support reminds me that, yes, I have dreams, gifts, calling, visions that are all encompassing - woven into the fabric of who God created me to be beyond any role I fill. You push me, you challenge me, you hold me accountable. I am seen, fully and wholly seen by you.
You regularly go above and beyond for our babies and me. Day after day - sacrificing, giving, supporting, loving, holding, and leading us all.
I love that we are in this thing together. You with me, and me with you. There are no "gender roles" in our home - just us "doing life together". We walk hand in hand, side by side.
Yet, in a Christ-like way of vulnerability and grace - you offer us your quiet, humble, and faithful leadership. Your leadership is one of champions - to us and those around you. It is defined by servant-hearted humility. Strength and care are your ways. You lead with honor, grace, and love.
Your love for our kids shine through in all of the "hands on ways" you guide and care for them.
I could go on and on for days, weeks, months listing the ways you give of yourself as a daddy and leader of our family. You are our greatest gift. Be confident you are creating a foundation of wisdom, love, and strength for our kids. In all of those mistakes and unmet expectations (because we all have them), know that you are still more than we could ever ask for or need. You are and will always be our superhero daddy.
I just needed to let you (and the whole world) know how proud I am to have you as my husband, best friend, and father of my children. Happy Daddy's Day, babe.