When you meet a boy at 17, you don’t think about the father he will one day be.
You think about his laugh. You think about his tan in the summer. You think about his eyes and how blue they are. You think about whether or not he will call. You think about whether or not you should call him. You think about his friends, wonder if they like you. You think about going to the movies and long walks in the sun and days spent sitting in the grass, thinking about a whole lot of nothing. Deliriously happy, just being next to that boy.
And then you fall in love with that boy. It doesn’t happen slowly, it comes at you quickly. You envision a future with him. You imagine sharing a bed, a kitchen, a bank account. You picture yourself doing his laundry and shopping for groceries and waking up on Christmas morning together. You think about your friends, wonder if they like him. You stay in more than you go out. You and your boy. Deliriously happy, just being together.
Then one day, you make that boy a father.
And suddenly you see him in a whole new light. You see patience and kindness. You see fear and fatigue. You see emotion in his eyes that has never been there before, comfort in his embrace that you could have never imagined. You see him laughing louder than ever before. You see him building dreams before two very patient little sets of eyes. You see him tirelessly providing pony rides, holding hands, wiping away salty tears. You see him giving and giving and when you think he has nothing left to give, he finds some more. You see him rocking sleepless babies, driving to every last store in the city for the perfect toy, cutting up chicken into bite-sized pieces that will more than likely end up in the trash.
You see him grow before you every hour, every day, every year.
No longer a boy, but a father.
A father full of love and selfless devotion. A father who gives everything for so little in return. A father who makes your heart swell and sets your mind at ease and makes you think of that boy you met when you were 17.
And you fall in love all over again.
Happy Father’s Day, babe.
*image above (of us!) via the brilliantly talented Fawn Christiansen