“This isn’t about my husband or my boyfriend, but one of my best friends, Ryan.
I’ve known Ryan for a couple years now, and one of the things that drew me to him as a person was his amazing love and skill at fatherhood. He’s a single, part-time dad, and sees the kids as often as he can. Sometimes for days at a time, sometimes for a spontaneous afternoon for sledding, and of course, the every-other-weekend.
It’s not just what he does, it’s the grace, competency, skill and felicity with which he performs those tasks and fills their days with joy and structure.
He teaches these two little girls budgeting with chores, indulges (quite a few) of their whims reasonably, Facetimes with them at every opportunity, while carrying the weight of a household on his back; the dogs, the laundry, the cooking, the adventures, the bills, time management, a full time job – all the blessed burdens we all hope we accrue some day.
There is always some debate raging about how we praise fathers. For every ‘attaboy’ or pat on the back, inevitably there is a backlash surrounding that; that men just doing their jobs as dads shouldn’t require the praise, that if a mom was doing it, nobody would be praising her for just performing her duties as a parent.
And yes, those arguments are valid. But a parent, any parent regardless of gender or biological sex or the complexity of their family systems, deserves a big, fat ATTTABOY for not just completing tasks and keeping the kids alive and entertained and in warm clothes but attending to them with such joy.
Hats off to parents who have rediscovered themselves through their children, that were made whole by parenthood and the day-to-day minutiae that comprises it.
The unplugging of Legos from nostrils, the joy of an afterschool pick-up, the midnight bad dreams, the perfectly-toasted grilled cheese, the early morning kisses and the overflowing diapers.
You all deserve an extra scoop of praise, and I’m leading the pack by presenting the best example of a parent I’ve ever known or known of, Ryan.”
– Bo Johnson
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