I remember it well, the day the Carpenter looked at me from across the room and said, “are we going to have children one day or what?”
I knew then and there he was the man of my dreams.
However, my facial expression may have suggested otherwise. Almost as fast as he said it aloud the Carpenter realized that perhaps this wasn’t the phrasing he intended, or at least not the delivery.
Needless to say no offspring were sprung on the fateful night that followed.
There was no denying a future with this man included children. The Carpenter grew up the youngest of seven and uncle to a small country before he was even an adult.
Kids didn’t scare him, but he didn’t have to birth them.
Still, I knew very early on that the Carpenter would be an amazing father. If I was going to endure nine months of severe morning sickness and weight gain (who knew you could do both at the same time?), followed by several hours of intense labour (where you realize you’ve been duped by this man and it’s too late to revisit the above conversation) and the trial and tribulations of child rearing, then he was the man for me.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for brown eyes and tool belts.
If there is one thing that I have done right in my lifetime, it was choosing him. The love of my life gave me the two greatest loves in my world. In return, he has been the father they both deserve. Our children know they are loved because he tells them.
He is protective, but not controlling. He is fair but flexible; stern but forgiving.
Every day he models integrity and self-respect, because he knows if you don’t have that, no one else will have it for you.
I am most grateful that he teaches our kids to respect their mother. He sees the sacrifices I’ve made because he supports me. They see it and they know it too.
One day our kids may have families of their own. Teaching them what a healthy relationship looks like is the greatest guarantee they will find the kind of love they deserve, because they’ll know what it looks like, and they’ll know they deserve it.
Over the years, the Carpenter has imparted some wonderful wisdom to our children with almost the same poetic prose as his attempts to encourage me to create these children (cough).
Special things, like: “Always call home. Your mom never sleeps anyways, so she’ll be up to come get you” or, “don’t be rude to your mother, or she will tell you the story of how you came into the world and since I was there and saw the whole thing, try to never hear that story.”
His strongest communication is silent though. He embodies the lesson that success comes from working for what you want. Never expect a hand-out or a hand-up. Learn it. Earn it. Own it.
Make mistakes so you learn how not to repeat them. Apologize when you need to own up. Don’t apologize for something you didn’t do. Never apologize for being you.
Brown eyes and a tool belt. What else can I say?
Happy Father’s Day, Carpenter.