I know this is kind of private, but I wanted to share anyway.
To My Husband on His First Father’s Day:
Matthew, thank you for being truly filled with joy (with a healthy touch of anxiety) about our pregnancy news even though we had only been married for three weeks. Thank you for being courteous and selfless throughout my pregnancy. Thank you for spending hours staring at the Excel budget spreadsheet making sure we were wise with our money. Thank you for holding my hand, praying, and reading Scripture over me during the difficult, painful hours of my labor. Thank you for holding our daughter with love in your eyes as we became a family of three for the first time. Thank you for being kind.
Thank you for waking up with me those first sleepy nights when Nora and I were both crying, and for staying patient. Thank you also for graciously accepting all of my apologies when I was mean to you in the middle of the night…we have discovered that Mommy really needs her sleep in order to show Christ’s love.
Thank you for picking up baby girl every day after work and saying, “Your Mommy dressed you so cute today,” even if she’s just got on a onesie and a dirty diaper.
Thank you for watching The Fault in Our Stars with glassy eyes during the scene when Hazel’s dad carries her into the hospital.
Thank you for leaving the audiologist with a grin saying, “That went so much better than expected- she’ll be able to hear!” And meaning it from the bottom of your heart.
Thank you for kissing me in front of Nora and saying, “Your mommy and daddy love each other so much.” Thank you for coming home for lunch as often as possible so you can be with us for one extra hour a day.
Thank you for bringing laughter into our home. You laugh at me, and it makes me feel like I’m funny. I can’t wait for you to make Nora laugh for the first time- I hope she has your sense of humor.
Thank you for making me feel beautiful all the time. You can’t possibly know what peace I have knowing that you will make Nora feel beautiful, too. She will grow up believing herself lovely because her dad says so.
Thank you for our family date night. You knocked on the door instead of just coming in, and you had flowers, and you said, “Is Mallory Harris here?” Thank you for worrying that we don’t have enough date nights.
Thank you for making our home a happy, peaceful place. Though others from different walks may disagree with our politics and faith, if we invited them over for dinner they would not be able to deny the love they see here. They would notice that even though I am a young wife and a stay-at-home-mom, I am far from being trapped or unfulfilled. I am like a “well-watered vine.” People flourish when they are loved unconditionally. Your tenderness and kindness have made my life sweet. And they will make Nora’s life sweet.
Thank you for your dreams and prayers for Nora. You pray great things for her. But you don’t pray for her to be wealthy, you pray for her to be satisfied by the treasure that is Christ. You don’t pray for her to be physically beautiful, you pray for her to be gentle and kind. You don’t pray for her to be successful, you pray for her to be willing to give up everything for the sake of the Kingdom. You don’t pray for her to be well-liked, you pray for her to stand on the Gospel of Truth in the face of great adversity. Yes, you pray great things for her.
Your love for Nora has shown my heart new things about how God looks at me. He looks at me with gentle patience, even when I’m making a fuss. He looks at me with everlasting love that has nothing to do with how good or pretty or smart or obedient I am. He looks at me with rejoicing.
Thank you for that gift, my love. I am so thankful that you are the father of my child. I look forward to the years of new babies, science projects, vacations, family game nights, Sundays at church, basketball practice, and all the adventures that are ahead of us.