Today the wonderful Teresa is sharing her wonderful story for the Dads are Awesome! Series. Teresa graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Creative Writing. During her time at UNC-Chapel Hill, she received writing instruction from well-known authors like Sarah Dessen and Tom Whedon. She worked as a Caseworker for Social Services for three years before deciding to become a teacher and has worked as a Special Education teacher for seven years with certifications in Special Education, Secondary Math, and Middle School Language Arts. She is now married and has two children, ages three and seven. One child has autism, so she is a huge advocate for children with disabilities. She also writes about raising a child with autism at www.embracingthespectrum.com.
I knew my husband would make a great father from the moment I met him. He has all the qualities you need in a good father. He’s kind, patient, loving, and has a great sense of humor. When we had our first child, I swear that he had the glow of happiness around him that you see in a new mother. He’s just that kind of guy – the one that doesn’t fear showing emotion. When I saw him hold our firstborn child for the first time, I knew my suspicions that he’d make a fabulous father were true. As it turns out, his patience, his love, and his sense of humor have worked out well for us, as our lives would change forever with my son’s diagnosis of autism. The decision to have a second child proved challenging for him, but I knew we could handle it because I knew I’d have him by my side. I can think of so many reasons he makes a great father, but I’ll list the top ten here.
The Top 10 Reasons My Husband Makes a Great Father
1. He’s patient. My husband rarely loses his cool with our kids. He’s human and occasionally it happens, but he keeps calm and handles the worst situations with grace.
2. He’s totally hands-on. You won’t see him sitting on the sidelines while I take care of the kids. He always chips in and we parent together.
3. He’s playful. Watching him play with our kids probably brings me the most joy. Sometimes I take a step back just to take a picture in my mind of him playing with our kids. The laughter the results from his ability to totally let go of inhibitions and put everything he’s got into it makes me love him more every time I see it.
4. He’s got a great sense of humor. He jokes around with our kids and with me. My favorite? He has taught them the interrupting cow joke. My youngest gets a huge kick out of doing the interrupting cow and gets totally carried away with his moos. It’s awesome.
5. He gets the whole autism thing. Once we found out our son had autism, we both did research on ways to help our boy. He not only understands as much about autism as you can with all the differences you find in children, but he listens to my advice on how to change our son’s behavior.
6. He’s kind. This matters a whole bunch when you have kids and when you interact with kids because of that. When we go to the playground, he not only helps out our kids with things like swings and merry-go-rounds but he includes any kids around us in his efforts. He once picked up a child that wanted to get on the tire swing and helped push him until the child’s brother came to chip in. 7. He’s loving. We’re big on hugs and kisses in our family. In fact, our oldest does a lot of kissing. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming amount, and my husband doesn’t mind. He will hug and kiss the kids whenever they want it. It’s so nice seeing him do this because my father was never big on hugs and kisses and I know our kids will always feel loved because my husband lets them know through his words and actions.
8. He’s understanding. We don’t jump to conclusions with our kids. When we do misjudge a situation, we apologize for it. That’s hard for some men to do, but my husband does it. He understands that our kids have feelings and that they need us to consider how they feel when we react. Through this, we model the importance of accepting when we do something wrong and apologizing for it.
9. He’s strong. I know that sounds like a strange quality to consider as great for fatherhood, but it matters. Sometimes our kids need someone to pick them up and take them where we need to go and I cannot do it because of my back problems. He will pick up our kids and take them to time-out if necessary. He’ll also give piggy-back rides to our youngest when we go on walks that last too long for his little legs. It’s wonderful to know that I’ve got back-up when I need it.
10. He’s forgiving. Children make mistakes all the time just like adults do. It’s important to acknowledge that we all make mistakes and that as long as we apologize and change our actions, it’s okay. He’s good at not only accepting that our children will make mistakes, but reminding our children the importance of apologies. He never holds a grudge and he always gives them a chance to make up for their mistakes, even if we recognize that our children will likely make that mistake again at some point. He sees the best in our kids and that’s important.
I cannot think of a better father than my husband. If I could package up all of the moments that make my heart sing when he’s with our children, I’d need a huge box and it would overflow with memories. He demonstrates the qualities of a good father so many times during the day that it’s impossible to count them all up. I just know that I’m lucky to have such a great partner in parenting and our children certainly benefit from his loving, patient, easygoing, good-humored ways. I just hope he knows how much he means to us.