“Sometimes parenthood isn’t as hands-on as you want it to be. Sometimes it isn’t hands-on at all. How can one be a good dad from across the country? How can there be a bond when you are constantly only a blurry face on the other side of a computer screen?
Somehow, my husband figures it out. Somehow, my husband puts the pain aside and makes big of anything small. Somehow, despite missing at least 9 months of 3 of their first years of life (and 15 months of the first 18 months for two of them), they have a solid bond established.
I’ve never seen someone go all out the way my sweet husband has time and time again for our daughters. I’ve found stashes of sims cards and flash drives filled with pre recorded bedtime stories so, during the long deployments, even when we can’t contact him, he can read them to sleep at night.
I’ve found letters and drawings left in books for them to find and it always is at just the right time. I’ve had cake pop surprises show up every other Saturday for entire deployments. I’ve watched this man watch his daughters take their first steps over a video that was posted days before that he just had to see when he could.
He missed all their first steps due to deployments or training. I couldn’t imagine the hurt that brings. But here I watch him do his best when he’s home and when he’s away.
I see him teaching the girls about morals, compassion; how to read a map (something I would fail miserably to teach them – I could get lost on a one way road); how to bait their hook and clean a fish; what tracks come from what animals; to always expect flowers or picnics on special days; that tea parties are for everyone, and most importantly to love bigger and harder than distance.
You hear so much of the love of a mother, and while that love is fiercely present in our home as well, this dad deserves the recognition. You are seen, you are appreciated and you are so loved.”
– Devyn Messenger
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