Happy Father's Day!
We are back in Jacksonville after nearly two weeks in St. Petersburg and it is good to be home. Unfortunately, we were not back in time to partake of all the Father's Day fun we had planned, but Eric is spending his evening watching the U.S. Open and drinking Mountain Dew so I think he's pretty content.
This has been a taxing week and a half but it has been a time that calls for much reflection. And by capping the whole thing off on Father's Day, today I'm reflecting on Eric—the man I love, the father of my children—and what the last year has brought for us.
Since last Father's Day, Eric became a father for the second time. Once again, he was my rock during labor and delivery, supporting me as no one else could.
When newborn E.J. went back to the hospital for two weeks with a fever, Eric stepped up and handled everything else so I could focus all my energy on our infant. He took care of our home, of Ellie, of our new rental home search, of the dog, of E.J.'s health insurance, everything. I never once had to wonder if x, y or z was getting done, because I knew Eric would take care of it. He gave me the gift of a clear mind so E.J. could be my sole focus.
When we finally brought E.J. home, Eric jumped in and kept on primary-parenting Ellie. The "divide and conquer approach" worked well for us, and once again, I knew that all of Ellie's needs were being met and she was having fun with her Daddy. I could focus on nursing my newborn and getting to know him.
When the dust settled, we distributed the care for both children a little more and Eric, as expected, transitioned into being the father of a son with apparent ease. He is great with E.J. and I can't wait to see their bond further develop as E.J. grows.
When we moved to our new home, Eric worked so hard. He worked hard to find the house for us, and to help move us in. Now we live in a great little home in a perfect part of town for us, all thanks to Eric's efforts.
When the school year started, Eric opted to not coach football this year so he could have more time at home with our new family of four. As a result, this year was the most "around" he's been able to be in all his years of parenting, and the kids love it. When he is home, he is so hands-on with everything from playtime to book-reading (he does voices, even!) to meal preparation to bedtime routines. The kids love having him around and we all have a lot of fun together.
When the school year ended, drawing Eric's teaching commitment to a close and forcing us to yet another crossroads, Eric threw himself into the search for his next step. This one is still a work in progress, but as usual, Eric is working hard to find the right opportunity that will allow him balance in both work and home life.
When Eric's mother passed away a week ago, I watched him once again step up and handle everything that her passing threw at the family with poise. He simply did what needed to be done as far as arrangements, while also managing his own emotions and concern for those around him. He was stoic and strong and loving. It was beautiful to watch.
Eric is really just an exceptional man, husband, father. He wants what is best for his family and is working so hard to make that reality. He enjoys being around his children and loves to make wonderful memories for and with them. He supports me like no other and it is so meaningful to have an equal partner in this parenting thing. I am so lucky to have him.
Thank you, Eric, for all that you do for us. We love you and appreciate you so much.