Sunday, June 19, 2011

Super Dad!

Happy Father's Day to one of the best dads I've ever known--my husband, Jeffrey!

Since the very first moments after Bridgette's birth, Jeff has been heavily involved with Bridgette's care. And based on his smile the first time he held her, I know he's done it with a lot of love in his heart.

Being a parent isn't easy for anyone, but Jeff had some special challenges early in his fatherhood.

That didn't stop him from jumping in and learning everything he needed to know to care for his darling girl. Most daddies have to learn to change diapers. When Bridgette came out of surgery with an Ileostomy, Jeff had to learn a whole lot more.

He gave her a very special blessing, and what I remember most was him blessing Bridgette to always know how much she is loved by him and me as well as extended family members and lots of other people. We've definitely seen that over the last few years. Bridgette is loved by so many, and none love her more than her daddy.

This last week, for the first time in three years, we've all been able to sleep through the night. On all those other nights? I'd like to say our burden has been equal, but the truth is that Jeff has helped her through more nights than me...

No parent is perfect, but he often finds a way to make her smile.

And I don't think he's ever let her down.

He's one of the most patient men I know. That's the truth.

And he spends time with his daughter--sun, rain, or snow. He teaches her how to throw a ball, how to build a tower, how to burp, and how to move between applications on his iPhone. What else in life do you really need to know? :) She's pretty much an expert at all four, and I've noticed she responds particularly well to his praise.

Here's a little memory of the two of them together on Jeff's first Father's Day, right before Bridgette turned 1 year old!

And here they are together on her first birthday, a few days before Bridgette's second surgery! Guess who cleaned up that messy baby! Yep, you got it! Daddy.

Since Bridgette has dealt with some mobility issues on top of additional medical care, Jeff's had to put extra work into everything we do together, from packing diaper bags with special supplies to lots of lifting/carrying to even more patience...

On top of everything else, he works hard to provide for our family, to keep us comfortable and as fulfilled as possible. He puts in extra hours at home and constantly studies new technologies so he can maintain his skill-set. I appreciate his work ethic, and I know the underlying reason for all his long days is the care he has for his family.

He has definitely been the one who's introduced Bridgette to many of her most fabulous firsts.

And dealt with a lot of things that, sadly, are not firsts at all.

But Jeff has always remained optimistic that Bridgette will have a good life. He believes her delays won't hold her back in the long run and that her health will be manageable over time. I know he fully intends to continue to provide the best opportunities that his princess could imagine.

They have a special bond.

After a short time away while we were in Florida, Jeff was a little worried that Bridgette might forget him. But when he came to pick us up at the airport, Bridgette RAN to him, shouting, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Look at that smile! That's one happy daddy!

Jeff lets Bridgette experiment in life within certain boundaries, and I think that's a great quality in a parent. I know he wants to teach her how to be a good, moral, upstanding person who can make her own choices.

And he believes *strongly* in letting children be children and encouraging *lots* of play and silliness.

Bridgette is lucky to have Jeff for her father. And I am lucky to have Jeff be my parenting partner. He's a really great dad.

We both love him very, very much.


Lore said...

Hope you all had a great Father's Day. Thank you, Jeff, for being such a good daddy to our precious little granddaughter. Those were wonderful phone messages on our answering machine! Please tell Bridgette "thank you" from Grampa.

Alisha said...

Perfect post! And Jeff sounds a lot like my Steve! Aren't we and our girls so lucky to have daddies like they do?!

Thanks for sharing! Loved the pictures!

Anonymous said...

Great blog Kelly!! Jeff - you're doing a fabulous job!! So proud of you!! This is one for the "book"!

Love you guys!


Anonymous said...

Love it Kelly!

Jacqueline Miller said...

So very sweet, and such a nice idea for a Father's Day post!