Today we're spending the day celebrating those important men in our life - fathers and grandfathers that have helped shape who we are. I have been blessed to have two strong, caring family-focused gentlemen as my grandfathers:
With my Gramps on the left, and my Papa on the right
And of course, my own dad, who has done so much for me and for my little family over time. And in the past two years, it has been such a joy watching him be Ellie's grandfather. He is so great with her and she just adores her Papa. It gives me a new appreciation for the man he is to see him in this role with his granddaughter...and soon, with his grandson!
Ellie and her Papa
Of course, as we very rapidly approach the due date for our new baby, I am once again spending a lot of time thinking of Eric as a father and realizing just how lucky I am to have him as my partner in this parenting gig, and how blessed my children are to have him as their daddy. I have known Eric for a very long time now - just about 16 years, in fact. We met at the age of 15 when we were just a couple of skinny kids, the football player and the band nerd. Since that time I have seen Eric in a wide variety of different roles: aside from those of son and brother, he has been an athlete, a scholar, a lawyer, a New Yorker, a teacher, my boyfriend, my fiance, my husband. He has always excelled no matter the "hat" he is wearing, but the role in which he has impressed me most is that of father.
Eric's devotion to his family is more than I could have hoped for, and I knew going into this that he was a good, family-oriented man. How best to care for his family is always at the front of his mind and he works hard to give us the world. As a father, he wants to be involved and be as hands-on as he can in his children's lives. After a long day of work, he will rush home to catch as much time with Ellie as possible before she goes to bed. He and I always do the bedtime routine together, and he handles her baths and helps with so much else during the day. He plays with her constantly and she loves it. "Daddy play wif you?" is a chorus we have been hearing quite a bit lately and he is always happy to oblige, be it coloring, kicking a ball outside, doing silly voices, singing, playing with her dollhouse, rough-housing or having a dance party in the middle of her room. He can make her smile with greater ease than anyone else and the sound of her giggles as she plays with her daddy is possibly my most favorite sound in the world. He is so proud of her, and you can hear it in his voice when he speaks of and to her. Their relationship is truly beautiful and I love that my baby girl has been able to develop such a bond with her daddy.
To give you an idea of how much quality time Eric really spends with Ellie, the majority of these pictures were taken just within the past week. I certainly didn't need to go digging back in the photo archives to find pictures of Eric playing with Ellie!
Now, Eric is getting ready to be a father for the second time, this time to a son. I think he and I are both a little apprehensive about parenting a son, because Ellie is all we know to this point. But I have no doubt whatsoever that Eric will excel in this role, too. Through both example and teaching I have faith that he will raise our son to be an admirable man, respectful and kind and dedicated and strong. (And, if he ends up being a great golfer, all the better!) I can't wait to watch Eric as he parents our son, and to see their relationship grow. I am certain that next year at this time, I will be sitting back and marveling and the bond between Eric and his baby boy just as I do at the bond between Eric and Ellie.
Eric, thank you for making our family your top priority without fail and for being such an extraordinary father to your children. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and we love and appreciate you so very much.
Two peas in a pod, these two.
Happy Father's Day to these important men and all the other great dads and grandfathers out there!