in honor of dads

earlier this week, i ran across a great blog post that talked about all the things we need to *stop* saying about dads (i was going to link it so you could read the awesome yourself, but the blog has since been made private.  i guess she created some waves with her words, i dunno).  the main point of the post was this- in general, there is an attitude that most dads are fumbling dopes who can't tell the difference between a sock and a shoe or a chicken nugget and a banana, and in general that simply isn't true and we need to stop acting like it is.

okay, so they can be pretty goofy, but goofy isn't the same as incapable ;)

this isn't the first blog post i've read that has made this point, and i doubt it will be the last.  it's kind of astounding to me the way we talk about our men, and every time i see another post pop up that stands up for fathers and husbands and celebrates how great they can be, i cheer a little bit.  after all, my husband is pretty much the only reason why my kids and i have survived this long with our sanity intact (the only one who can take more credit than him is Jesus) and i think he deserves to be praised for his hard work as much as i do.  and it's not like my husband is some sort of anomaly.  i know plenty of men in the world who are incredible and involved fathers- my own, for instance, did much of the tucking in and grocery store runs and nose wiping and homework helping and all those other things that come with finding yourself in the trenches of parenting. 

the trenches are an exhausting place, interspersed with perfect, soul satisfying moments.

and then, a few days after i ran across the earlier-mentioned blog post, this great new community, called Dads in the Wild popped up on facebook.  it's a photography community geared toward sharing pictures of dads doing all the great things dads do with and for their children, and so of course i joined in as quickly as i could.  after i was done scrolling through the work that had already been shared to their page by some really amazing artists, i popped over to lightroom to pull a few of my favorite dad images to share myself.  after about 10 minutes, i had way more than the 2-3 photos i had planned to pull out, and i also found myself sitting in a puddle of my own tears, overwhelmed by the amazing love my husband has for our children, and the love i have for him, and the joy that i've been fortunate enough to capture in just a few of the moments he has shared with our boys over the last year.

shortly after i took this image, my husband looked at me and mouthed the words "life made".  he may have been holding back tears, but that hasn't been verified :)

i did end up sharing one of the images i pulled on Dads of the Wild's wall, but i decided to hang on to the rest of them to share here instead.  i want to jump on the bandwagon to give dads their credit where credit is due, and i figure there's no better place to start than with the man i'm on this parenting journey with.  from the beginning, he has changed diapers and woken up in the middle of the night.  he has run errands solo for sick kids and run errands with kids for a sick wife.  he has taken over as parent-in-charge the moment his feet hit our foyer in the afternoon so i can escape for a shower.  he has cleaned spilled cereal and spaghetti sauce faces and potty training accidents and car seats and a thousand other things.  he's gone to doctor appointments and play dates and every park in the county.  he's comforted tired, sick, or hurting little bodies, and he's helped grow and nurture little souls.

the truth is, i could have pulled so, so many more images to share here.  i literally have dozens upon dozens of photos of my husband just being dad to our two boys, but this is a selection that i love both as a wife/momma and as a photographer.

he is their teacher and their guide.

he is our provider.

he is their example.

he is their comfort and their protection.

he is my partner, my safe place, my strength.

when he is with them, i don't have to worry.  he can handle it just as well as i can handle it because he loves them just as much as i love them.

he is their dad

and he will always be enough.

so here's to the dads- for all they do, everyday.  it makes all the difference.