When I met you, the first thing you said to me was, “How are you and your son?” (We met online and my profile specifically mentioned my little boy). You were over and over just so immensely polite to me and you never forgot to ask about the most important part of my life – my child.
I also remember telling you I couldn’t get involved because you were so young (21) and I didn’t want to steal your youth. I couldn’t fathom you could possibly be equipped to be a husband and father.
Boy was I wrong.
You asked if you could meet him, and you did. You sat down and played with him, telling me what a cool kid he was. I was able to see early on that you were going to be a great dad one day. I just never imagined it would be a dad to my son, who would later become our son … and later adding a daughter to our family.
Here we are now, four years later, and the one thing you have never faultered in is your duty to not just me as your wife, but also to our kids. The only time you’re not there to share in the responsibilities of child-rearing, playing chaeuffer, disciplinarian, soother, boo boo kisser, and all those other fun parent things, is when you’re at work. Because when you’re home, you are 100% involved. I don’t have to carry the full weight of parenthood by myself as I see so many women do even when they have a husband. You truly are an examplary partner.
Because of you, I don’t worry about our son not knowing what it means to be a man. A good person. And a good father. He has manners, respect, and dreams that are so much like yours. He wears long socks with his crocs just like you. He laughs at the same things you do. He’s an athlete just like you.
He wants to be like his dad.
Having a father was the biggest wish I had for my son … and at once my biggest failure. You stepped in and gave a child a father figure who otherwise would not have one. He was 3-years-old when you met him, and has no recollection of not having you as a father, which I thank God for.
Now he’s 8-years-old, and more often you’re the one at basketball games, swim practice, swim meets, awards ceremonies, and field days. Your prescience is always known to him and any time I feel he needs it, I let Grayson know how fortunate he is that has a dad, and more specifically, YOU as a dad. There is nothing in this world that you aren’t to him. I know that single moms can raise successful men, but there is no substitute for a great dad. There’s no substitute for you. No one could ever do what you do.
Because of you, I know our daughter will not seek a man’s attention because she didn’t receive it from her father. A father is a girl’s first love, the one who shows her how a man should treat a woman, the first male to tell her she’s beautiful, to tell her means something. She will always feel worthy because you took time to pay attention to her and show her she’s worth it. She will model her future love after her father (as most girls do), I know he’s going to be an amazing guy because that’s what you are. It means the world to me that you know you’re setting the stage for her in ways that I could not.
And last but surely not least, because of you, I’m a better mom. I failed Grayson so much in so many ways before you came along. I was burnt out, I was depressed, and I was lost.
In saving me, you essentially saved him.
To this day you tell me you looked up to me (quite literally since I AM taller than you – lol) because I was doing it all on my own and while that’s true, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. From the moment you met me, you refused to let me do it alone. When my car wasn’t working, you took me, this chick you had just met, not only to work but to drop off and pick up my son. Right now as I write this I’m shaking my head because you have literally been there from the very beginning. You’ve been holding my hand for almost 5 years.
Because of you, two kids have a father.
Because of you, I’m a better mother.
And most of all, because of you, they’re going to grow up and see not just what a father is, but what love is.
Happy father’s day to my husband …. Otis Praylow.