A Love Letter to Larsen’s Dad

My Dearest MB:

I recently read those viral articles about how mothers should always love her husband more than her kids, keeping the husband and marriage top priority at all times. Part of me aches. Have I forsaken you to be a mother? Should I have taken that advice?

But then again, the better part of me knows real life does not operate within a hierarchy. The better part of me also knows you understand this too.

Our life is more like a carousel instead of a ladder. One day we’re on the pink pony that moves up and down being a parent. The next – we’re in the double seat that just glides along and we’re spouses. It changes from one day to the next – from season to season. We just keep going around enjoying whatever role – and the ups and downs that come with it – we are in that moment. I love that about us. You taught me to do that – to take each moment and relax into it.

carousel

You recognize how motherhood has enhanced our marriage, my personality. What’s amazing is that you too have transformed via fatherhood. We’ve learned so much together – like how to give without expecting, how to speak more lovingly, how to be present more fully, how to love our life daily.

There is guilt about not spending enough time with you as we raise a tornado of a toddler, but I just keep returning to the idea of seasons in our lives, and ultimately, I keep returning to your thoughtful heart.

You get this. And that means much more to me than some chain of command of people in my life. You understanding this is the part of my marriage I want to hold on to through the turbulence of raising kids.

You’ve only offered acceptance through and through. I am grateful.

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You’ve traveled on this new parenting journey with me, not as a follower, not as someone on the outside looking in, but as a true partner. You’ve called me out when I’ve been a gatekeeper mom.

You are redefing what it means to be a modern dad. You even took my last name. 🙂

You changed diapers, took the 3am and 5am feedings so I could rest.

You’ve hugged me while I cried as I struggled to breastfeed beyond those first three months of pain because you knew I was determined to do it.

You watched Larsen for a whole weekend before other dads would even fathom the idea.

You tell Larsen bedtime stories about “Garsen Lenn.” That kid is a major skateboarding, swimming, race car driving, scootering astronaut who loves his dogs, and makes our son dream big.

You taught Larsen the words “No matter what” so that he understands your unconditional love.

You have made my mother love you and root for you when I complain to her about our challenges.

You’ve been patient as I’ve grown into my new role as a mother.

You’ve encouraged me to write my heart out, to keep something sacred just for myself.

Thank you, my love.

It’s not always roses, though. Irritations become amplified with little sleep and exhausted patience.

In the mornings, somehow you arise happy. You are a little baby bird, chirping gleefully and loudly every morning when I want silence.

You are unorganized, leaving mounds of wires, socks, and bicycle parts everywhere when I want order.

You smack your lips like a large hippo as you eat while I want Larsen to learn to chew gracefully.

You have a large collection of hobby equipment that you always complain won’t fit in our garage every.time.we.pull.in.

There are many times I could just hate you.

Except I love you. 

We recognize these annoyances for what they are – ways to bring us back to ourselves, our friendship, our merry-go-round.

Are there days where we fight as a shorthand way to connect? Absolutely. Are there days where I am depleted and unable to offer you a more tender connection? Yes.

I’m in love with you for not expecting me to choose between motherhood and marriage. Instead, you continually seek with me the ways parenthood overlaps with other areas of our life and we expand our love from there.

Earlier today you reminded me why I will never get off this joyride with you.

As I was holding Larsen in the shower and he was screaming about how much it burned his eyes as I rinsed out the hand soap he thought would work better than hair gel, you grabbed a towel and jumped in the shower fully-clothed with us. You held the towel tightly over his eyes as you comforted him with your words.

Each and every day- monotony, mayhem, motherhood, or matrimony – I’m grateful Larsen and I have you.

While some people have their hierarchies, we have our venn diagrams. While some people climb ladders, we’re riding that carousel.

PS:  Did I mention how much I hate that you never shut the cabinets or drawers?????

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