On Saturday, we celebrated my father-in-law Ron, who has virtually been like a Father to me since we met. Both Aaron and I feel so humbled to have an incredible example to live by - and be reminded not to sweat the small stuff. The personal health challenges he has overcome in the last decade has proven that the willful mind and spirit is stronger above all else. But what I am most amazed with is how I can always count on hearing words of encouragement and praise in any endeavor we take on - no matter what is going on in his life. He makes me laugh and think about a world greater than my own capabilities and I am grateful for each and every conversation we have together.
On Sunday, I got to spend the day with a Father much closer to home - Aaron. From the first pregnancy test through tonight's last bedtime story - Aaron is quite possibly the most compassionate and selfless soul I have ever met. He has shown me such a different side of fatherhood - that I am profoundly amazed at the possibilities of how a man transcends so much love. His energy has never waivered from the moment we brought home Ava & Noah from the hospital. He's the proudest Daddy I am priviliged to fall in love with - day after day...
On Monday, my Father returned home from his trip back East. As I was waiting at the airport, I thought about my own unique relationship with Dad. Memories of him raising me didn't include trips to the ice-cream store after a bad day at school, a standing ovation at my first band recital or giving me my first driving lesson. My father, to me, was more like a leader - working hard all his life so that his loved ones could benefit. I reported to him for fair punishment to my crimes, learned how to formulate opinions for myself and not accept someone else's, and to never do anything I would be sorry for later. In the few instances where I stumbled, he was there for me - and just like that - the world was whole again. In college, he encouraged me to travel the world before ever thinking about settling down. And when I finally did, and started a family of my own, he reminded me to never lose sight of myself and given talents.
And maybe that's just it - "fathers" are who we need them to be at different points in our lives. And if we expect nothing more - than we get nothing less. To all the Father's in my life - thank you.