Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ten reasons why Mike is an awesome dad

A hard but poignant way to learn
how to be a dad--in the NICU (1996)
(doing kangaroo care, skin to skin)
The Monday Listicles topic today is which TV shows you wish hadn't been cancelled, but if I'm going to make a list today, the least I can do is honor the wonderful dad I helped create! :)

This morning at church, our wonderful Irish friend Ruth did the children's homily, and she talked with the kids about all the various fathers we might have in our lives beyond our regular fathers--godfathers, fathers-in-law, stepfathers, foster fathers, uncles, etc.--and then she asked each of the children if they wanted to give their own dad a compliment. Nicholas raised his hand immediately and responded, "My dad is awesome!!" Of course, Mike was completely embarrassed and red in the face (kidding!). Actually, he waved his hands around and shouted out "and humble!!"

But he is awesome--it's true. And here's why:

1. He is an engaged stay-at-home dad, giving our boys a wonderful role model of a caring, compassionate father who is actively involved in their daily lives. A brand new stay-at-home dad, Jon, gave a wonderful sermon at church today, and he said the one thing in his life he knew he wanted to do was to be a dad...and he feels very lucky to be able to stay at home caring for his son, Isaac...and how 30 years ago this would not have been an option like it is now.

Mike with toddler Chris in Homer, AK (1998)
2. Our teenager Chris was horrified to hear that Mike didn't choose this path in the same way. I was the one who really wanted kids, and it made the most sense for Mike to be the primary caregiver because I had more earning power. (When I first suggested we start trying for a baby, he was hesitant because he thought we should wait until he became published.) He's definitely grown into the role, and I'm sure he wouldn't trade it for anything, but the path chose him instead of the other way around! I think that the difficult way we became parents (via the NICU) and subsequent fertility definitely won his heart over. I'm so glad that he agreed to go down this unpredictable, crazy path of parenthood with me!

With Chris at age 3 or 4
3. He is the fun parent. Seriously. He's much more likely to go into silly mode, cracking up the kids or sometimes embarrassing them. One of my favorite sounds is hearing the youngest (Nicholas) crack up at Mike's silly jokes or plays on words. And then he says "Again!"

4. Our sons have inherited Mike's love for the spotlight and the stage...and Kieran's acquired his booming voice. As a theater/music fan, I am really glad our kids are drawn to drama...I can't relate to this desire to be onstage, but I appreciate it about all of them. Today our head sound guy at church came up to me and told me I needed to really sing into the microphone...but last week he told Mike that he had to stand back farther away from the microphone! Apparently Mike's the only one in the church who doesn't need to stand close to the mike (this probably applies to Kieran, too).

5. He is SO MUCH nicer than me. Most of the time, that is. He's the one who the kids can sucker into giving them stuff (Cheetos, fast food, quarters to play video games), and he's also the one more likely to give money to people at the door or on the street. He's generous and compassionate, with a few exceptions (our crazy next-door neighbor is one). Once you cross him though--or be mean to me or someone else he loves--watch out!

With two sons (2003)
With baby Kieran (2003)
6. He's showing our sons how to respect and treat women well. They are learning that being a man means demonstrating compassion and emotion, loving others, and treating women with kindness and respect. It means crying with the rest of us at sad movies or plays, and not being ashamed to admit it. Mike's amazing with older people, as well--when he was in college he volunteered by spending time with an elderly woman, and he did that later on with a friend from church before she died. I can't imagine finding a more supportive, loving partner. This generosity of spirit is the best possible thing our sons could be learning.

7. How many kids are lucky enough to have an Oxford-educated primary caregiver? The guy has an amazing vocabulary; is well versed in literature, politics, geography, and current events; speaks several languages (at least a little) and knows his Latin roots; is a gifted, creative writer (which someday the world will know); and believes in and understands people. So he's not a crafty dad...and he might not always have the healthiest snacks at the park...but those are small potatoes.

See, the fun parent! (2005)
8. I asked 10-year-old Kieran for help with #8, and he said: "He drives me to rehearsal, he supports us, and he appreciates my weirdness." On Father's Day, he not only helped the youth group at church sell coffee drinks to raise money for their summer mission trip, but this afternoon he also spent several hours cleaning up the dressing rooms after Kieran's ballet performances were over this weekend. He puts in hours and hours driving kids around and volunteering, including 3-4 hours each week at the boys' elementary school, all year long.

9. He's raising our sons to be kind, fun, expressive, and funny young men. They are happy and know they are loved. I couldn't ask for more than that.

10. He loves me--and he loves our family, both immediate and extended. I am grateful to share my life with someone who truly values family--both his original family and the one we have created together. No other words needed! Just a few more photos...
With little Kieran

Honolulu, Hawaii

Eating ice cream with Kieran at Holden Village (2005)

Welcoming Nicholas (2006)

With Chris (2006)

Nicholas' first Christmas (2006)

Napping buddies (2007)

With Kieran (2007)

At the beach (2008)

In Hawaii (2008)

Valentine's Day 2009

Niagara Falls, Ontario (2009)

Victoria, BC (2009)

Meeting me downtown for lunch (2010)

Indulging Kieran in his firepit stage! (2011)

Boys who read (2011)

At the beach (2011)

Birthday present? (2011)

Parent helping at preschool (2012)

Holden Village (2012)

At the beach (2012)

Always look for a partner who loves his/her mother! 

Farmers Market, 2012

Zoo earlier this year 

At Skyline Restaurant, 2013

Fathers' Day 2013
Happy Father's Day to an amazing, wonderful dad!

Check out the other lists (TV shows gone too soon) at The Good Life!


  1. That's a great testament to your husband. Hope he had a great Father's Day.

  2. What a wonderful man! Love number 6 so very very important.

  3. you have a great man there babe! Very good on number 6 and 9, I think a lot of these boys are growing up not understanding what it is to be a good man. BRAVO

  4. Love #5. LOL! I think those good stay at home dad's (from what I've seen) have so much more energy and enthusiasm (than I do anyway). How great for your sons too.

  5. This post was so beautiful! It makes me feel a little guilty I didn't post something about my husband.

  6. Stopping by from Monday Listicles.

    Congrats to a great dad.

  7. Super sweet post! He sounds like a fantastic dad! What a keeper! :)-The Dose Girls