This is a post I wrote on September 25, 2014…just three months shy of welcoming my firstborn into the world. Even back then, I knew that this guy…
…would be one fantastical father. (That’s right, I said “fantastical.”)
Going back and reading this post, and then seeing some of the photos from the past 2.5 years, it’s amazing just how much this guy superseded all of my wildest dreams of being a wonderful daddy to his son.
So as a tribute to this “fantastical father,” a reprise of that blog post.
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Dear Child of Mine:
Today, we officially completed 28 weeks together. Apparently, this is quite a milestone, as we begin what everyone calls “the third trimester.” We are left with only one-third of our time being within one body (12 more weeks). It’s both exciting and daunting at the same time, as we both grow heavier with each passing day. But I can’t complain at all. You have been so good to me these past 28 weeks. Sure, you like to keep me up at night with the wild dance parties. But you have caused me very little pain, grief, or worry through the process. I can only hope you’ll continue to be so kind to me these final 12 weeks.
It’s really not so hard to imagine that my son would be so agreeable and kind (and active). After all, you are your daddy’s boy…a chip off the ol’ block. You may have begun to recognize his much deeper voice speaking to you from beyond the confines of my belly. What you don’t know is just how amazing a man your daddy really is.
When you first meet your daddy, it will be easy to see why he tends to find favor with almost everyone he meets. He’s goofy, laid back, fun-loving, and a generally nice guy to be around. You can poke fun at him and he will likely let it roll of his back without so much as a twinge of hurt crossing his face. He’s passionate about his work (medicine) and hobbies (especially sports), and can talk hours upon hours with those who will listen. It’s hard not to become interested in his interests when you hear him talk with such enthusiasm, interest, and knowledge.
On the surface, your daddy is a great guy.
Deep down inside, however, he’s so much more.
I could list a million and one ways your daddy is amazing. In fact, there have been other blog posts (like this one) how God has changed me for the better by bringing your daddy into my life. But I’d rather not cause those “listening in” on our conversation to lose their last meal due to the overabundance of “cheese” and “sappiness” that such an endeavor could lead to. But there are a few things I would like to say about him that I truly hope you will inherit and carry on into the next generation of the An family.
1) He has a heart to help others. Of course, it comes as no surprise that your daddy chose to become a doctor. He has a natural tendency to care for others. He will honestly, yet tactfully, give his patients all the information they need and do his best to remain patient (no pun intended) with those who (ignorantly) question and even belittle him. While his gifting may not be in connecting emotionally or personally with those he does not know, he will without hesitation use whatever knowledge or resources he has to help those in need. It’s always about “others first”…and lucky you that you are one of those “others” he will likely think of first FIRST.
2) He works hard…really hard…for the sake of those he loves. It’s without question that your daddy’s work ethic is second to none. When it comes to doing the work he loves in order to support the people he loves, he will not hesitate to put in more than his share of the workload. Sure, the occasional freebie excites him (who isn’t excited about that?), but he knows that 99% of what we need and want must be earned. He will do everything in his power to take care of his family (both immediate and extended).
But at the same time, work (and the need to make more money) does not consume him. He knows when to stop, when to relax, and when to invest leisure time with those he loves. I don’t know how he has developed almost perfect balance in his life like this, but it’s amazing to see how he can do it all.
3) He has convictions and values that he stands by… No matter what the cultural winds of society may bring, your daddy’s faith and values are unwavering. He has been challenged and he has been questioned…but no matter what, he stands firm on truth. He stands firm on what is right and does not stand for injustice. He isn’t one to speak his mind much (he is so much wiser with his words than your mama), but when he does, you know that he truly stands by his words. But he also isn’t one to follow things blindly…he always back up his words with careful thought and action. If your daddy is adamant about something, it always carries a lot of reason and logic (unlike your mama, who tends to be a lot more emotional and irrational).
4) …but he never belittles others for not seeing things his way. It’s difficult not to look down on others who do not believe the things we do. But your daddy has a knack for respecting and showing respect to those who may not always see eye to eye with him. He may get frustrated and annoyed, but he will ALWAYS treat others with respect and kindness. He’s so good at not allowing his emotions to cloud his caring for others (see #1 again)…and it’s one of his most admirable qualities that I have been trying to learn from him (ever so slowly).
5) He isn’t afraid to be himself…but in the best way possible. Your daddy knows what he likes and who God has created him to be. He will never put up a front in order to get others to like him. What you see is what you get…and God truly created an amazing man who knows how to connect with all kinds of people. It’s so much fun being around him because he is willing to be goofy and is usually up for a good time. He can take the banter and pokes his friends and acquaintances dish out with a sense of ease and a big laugh…he doesn’t take himself so seriously that he can’t take others poking fun at him. But all of that comes from knowing himself…and knowing it’s okay to be himself.
6) He loves me…and you…so much! …and he’s never afraid to show it. He is open in saying the words “I love you,” generous with his warm hugs and kisses (especially when he sees I need them the most), and simply makes me feel appreciated. No matter how tired he is, if I am in need, he is there to help. He does the little things that he knows will help me see just how much he cares (i.e. the dishes, driving the long distances on road trips, buying me the things I always have a hard time buying for myself, etc). He listens to me and has made it a point to learn how best to respond to my fragile psyche (I’m telling you, your mama can be completely neurotic sometimes) while still saying the very things he knows I need to hear (even though I may not necessarily want to hear it).
And to think…this is the man you get to call “daddy.”
It is a sad fact that in this day and age, having a wonderful daddy is not as common as it should be. You are truly blessed, child of mine, to know that you have someone like your daddy to help teach you the ways of “manhood.” He is not without his faults, but there are so many things that are admirable about him. My hope is that you choose to take the opportunity to accept/reciprocate his love and learn from him. I know he is so excited to meet you…has so many hopes for you…and will be an amazing daddy.
So cherish this blessing that you have. I know I do…and always will.