I always knew you would be a good dad. I could picture the moments. Playing tag in the backyard…teaching our children to catch a ball…I could envision you cuddling on the couch watching cartoons in the morning with our kids…showing them how to set up a tent and climb the side of a boulder… I had a pretty great picture of the kind of father you were going to be.
And then we started a family. And as quickly as our journey began, it came crashing to a halt. And as horrible as it was for me, the most painful part was watching you go through it. It was so sad. I was so sad for you. So sad for your broken heart. I watched you stumble through grief…try to find a path to take that didn’t involve so much anger and confusion and sadness….And as we walked through those terrible years together, I watched you resign to Hope time and time again. And the picture of the kind of father you were going to be became more and more clear.
But today, as I think back on this last year, I have to tell you…
Of all of the wonderful moments I pictured…nothing compare to the ones I get to share with you now.
The way you belly laugh when you witness Emara experience something new. And then make her do it over and over again…and then find a camera and try to record it.
Your calm demeanor and patient hand when Emara is screaming and fighting you as you put her pj’s on at night.
Your sleepy smile that sneaks out everytime I bring her into our bed at all hours of the night so you can watch her while I change out her crib sheets from an overflowing diaper fiasco.
Your dedication to being home. To being present. To put your family first.
Every day, you enjoy. Every day, you play. Everyday, you serve. I have never asked for your help with her and been met with even a sigh. I have never once heard you complain about any of it. You have never responded to our daughter with frustration in your tone. You are safe, steady, gentle and my gosh, you love her.
You told me a long time ago that what we went through together changed you. Changed your perspective on parenting. Changed your entire life.
And, it really did.
Could the life lesson have come from a different life experience? I am sure that you and I both wish it had.
But, for all of the ways it has shaped you..strengthened you…
I am grateful.
I am a proud wife, Scott Zibell. It is obvious by the way Emara looks at you that she just adores you more than anyone else…and one day, when we get to meet all of our children, past and future…I am sure they will all agree on one thing.
They have the best daddy in the world.