Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Matt will openly admit that he would be completely lost without me. Although there's a what-would-I-do-without-the-love-of-my-life element to that statement, there's also a much simpler piece. When it comes to running our house, I pretty much do it all. I do the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. I take care of Reese's diapers, baths, and meals. I am the social coordinator, schedule keeper, and budget manager. I also take care of all the fine details. I know that the light blue ring goes on the Gerber bottle and the dark blue ring goes on the Nuk bottle (that's why it's leaking, honey). And I know that the orange sponge is for cleaning the bathroom (so don't use it on the coffee maker, sweetheart). So of course he would be lost without me. And since I seem to be able to do it all so easily, would I say the same of my life without him?

I sometimes wonder if Matt knows how much I do need him and how much he does for our family. He takes his role as our provider very seriously, and he really struggled when I quit my job and money was tight. Like most men, he saw our lifestyle as a direct reflection of his ability to provide for his family. What he didn't understand was that he had developed a very narrow view of the provider role to include only what he could provide financially. Yes, a big part of his role in our family is financial and I'm thankful for the money he brings home. But his contributions go far beyond the money that appears in our checking account twice a month. Here are just a few ways that Matt's actions remind me that the provider role is so much deeper than a paycheck:

He provides protection. On rare occasions when I spend the night alone, I am always reminded of how much safer I feel when Matt's home. Just like he never has to worry about having clean underwear because he knows I'll take care of it, I never have to worry about who's at the door because I know he'll take care of it (and all dirty underwear jokes aside, his responsibility is a lot scarier). I feel an incredible sense of security when he's around, and I never worry for my safety or the safety of our children as long as he is there.

He provides support. Matt might be the most supportive person I know. He supports absolutely everything I do. He supported me for wanting to stay home, and he would have supported me if I wanted to work. He will do anything to help me around the house, and he never makes me feel like his work is more important than my work. Whenever I ask for his opinion on something I want to do, like when I wanted to fly to Georgia or when I was considering teaching CCD, he always says, "if it's important to you, then you should do it, and we'll just figure it out." That's a supportive husband.

He provides love. One of my father-in-law's favorite sayings is, "the best gift you can give your children is to love their mother." If there's any truth to that statement, then our children will be blessed beyond measure. Every day I wake up feeling loved and because I feel loved, I am a happier person and a better mother. Knowing how much he loves me makes it so much easier to forgive his mistakes and to make more of an effort to show him that I love him just as much.

The intangible things Matt provides for our family far outweigh the provisions of even the highest income. Because of the love, support, and protection I get from him as my husband, I have always known that he would also be a wonderful father. And all of those things have proven true in the past 13 months. All that he provides for me as a husband, he now provides for Reese as a father. He loves us both tremendously. He supports everything we do. He is our biggest fan. He is our protector, leader, and provider. He makes us laugh; he leads us in prayer; and he grills a mean steak.

Father's Day is a great reminder for us to thank the providers in our lives. Unfortunately, I don't thank Matt enough for what he does and going forward, I hope I remember to thank him more often than once a year. I hope I'm always able to see how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband. And I hope he always knows how much I appreciate him, how much I love him, and how lost I would be without him.

Thank you, Dads, for all that you provide for your families. Happy Father's Day!

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