Thirty weeks pregnant with our second baby, and the busyness that swarms as wife, mom, employee, friend, housekeeper, cook, etc. has landed me stranded on the couch in a state of bedrest my pride never thought would be necessary. I'm superwoman, right?
Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
My mornings have turned from loud and quick, protein shakes and homemade pancakes for Judah, into alarms not set, and coffee runs as my exciting daily outing, before returning to the couch and comforter. Needless to say my mom-game has been dismal, and Clifford the Big Red Dog (or as he is fondly called in our home, "Big Titchor") has taken up permanent residence as a second pet. At least I don't have to remember to feed him.
And then this morning. A toothy grin from my bleachy haired summer baby and a small good morning wave to set in motion a craze to get outside. And so we insert the d-word. Daddy. And insert him to the rescue as seems to be his M.O. for most our days if we're honest.
I put on mascara, he dressed our wild man, and we hopped in the car for a coffee run, and slow, misty drive into the foothills. Rock-skipping goldmines.
When Evan and I were going through pre-marital, there was little discussion or mention on parenting. It seems strange now. Vowing yes to Earth's forever with a man who would raise, guide, and direct my babies into adulthood, without much consideration towards his proclivity to do so. Don't get me wrong, I married a man I KNEW was a solid on a million levels, but why I never pictured him as "dad" still seems silly.
Out of the car, wrapped up in Dad's arms and his current signature, bright red Chuck Taylor hightops, Judah was swept into a mossy morning of twigs, rivers rocks, foggy skies, and the lightheartedness that only Evan seems to fully unlock for him. What is it about Dads?
Marriage is a million things. Things full of romance, hard work, heartbreak, adventure, but my favorite spaces and what I think the most spectacular bits of marriage, are the bits that come in little glimpses fashioned by growth and forward motion. I think that when we start to see the ways our spouse has grown in the complexities of new roles, new seasons, new ventures, we see the ways that our marriage has propelled one another forward out into the call of God on their life, but still hand in hand. It's stunning.
No doubt is marriage never more brilliantly on display for me than when I am stopped by belly laughs in the next room to pause and watch as Evan steps a little more into his own version of the d-word. Dad to our Judah Bear (and soon Maggie Shep) in a call as unique as each of our little's lives.
And maybe that's just it. Maybe fatherhood is one of the most unique honors we as wives get to watch our husbands step into, as they emulate the very nature of Father God in a physical form. One that we are given direct, raw exposure into the every day, miraculously ordinary moments of. One that we have the honor and task to help cheer on in real time.
[And hear me here, fatherhood comes in a million different relational dynamics: children biological and adopted in our homes, mentor relationships, etc., they all deserve the cheers]
Maybe it is all part of His plan to show us Himself. And in this, wives, let's propel our husbands on as they find their footing in this role. There are beautiful, time-stand-still moments of rock skipping, but there are also moments where I imagine the weight of this task to show the world what a Father was always intended to look like, must be overwhelming in the conscience and the sub-conscience.
So wherever your hubby shines today as Dad, be sure to let him know. Let him know in words, kisses, instagrams, or a yummy steak + truffle butter dinner table. It is in the rock-skipping, red converse lacing, bear hug tackles that Father God is glimpsed. Let the weight and reality of that settle into your heart and flow out as honor to the men who carry that mantle in our homes.
[p.s.- no one does dad better than you, Evan Kelly. xo]