This is me and my dad on my 2nd birthday so when I was right around the twins' age!
For those of you who know him, you already know he's pretty much the nicest person ever. He is always cheerful and kind and talks in a nice loud booming happy voice and walks around humming and bopping to non existant music. He is goofy and tells funny dad jokes. I found a photo that proves he's been like that my whole life
(I think at 2 I was not yet understanding the sophisticated humor of putting Mr Potato Head parts on himself and on me!)
And he is not just a cheerful happy person- he is actually the most brilliant person I know. He is crazy smart and incredibly driven and it turns out if you are really intelligent, really devoted and really nice, people like to promote you and you can make a very good life for yourself and your family. My dad had a hugely successful career and has been incredibly generous to us. We would be in mind boggling amounds of credit card debt right now if it were not for my dad. He always takes care of us when we need it and makes sure that even though things are tight with 2 million dollar babies and one income, that we still have everything we could need and most things we could want.
My dad taught my brother and I to be smart and competetive and hard working. He loves playing games and would play with us but he never let us win. I got beat at Candy Land for years until I finally had to step up and work out how to beat him. He engaged us in discussions about politics and real issues when we were young so we grew up knowing how to debate and talk with adults. He helped make us better people.
Max and Addie are so lucky he is their papa. He plays so hard with them. Last night he was chasing Addie all over their house. And she would pretend she didn't want him to catch her and then laugh so hard when he did. As soon as we get to their house, she looks for him. She goes room by room looking for him. And as if she knew his birthday were coming up, last week she finally started saying 'Papa'. My dad is like Max's second favorite person behind his own dad. He adores his Papa and they spend lots of time together. Not everyone really 'sees' Max. They see that he's cute but not everyone can see through his issues to really see what an amazing person he is. My dad totally can. He loves spending time with Max. He wants to see him and hold him and include him. He genuinely gets excited for Max's inchstones. He spends hours teaching Max all about football and golf when they spend time together. He is the best papa either of them could hope for.
He was there for them when they were so tiny and new
He was there for them when they were sick, even when they were so compromised they made us gown and mask up to be allowed to hold them
Max shares his Papa's rosy cheeks
Addie shares her Papa's cheeky smiles
And what is really special is that my dad ended up retiring on the early side last year. So he is really involved in their lives. It's been a blessing having him retired. My mom works incredibly hard helping us- she takes care of Addie 3 days a week and does all the hospital and therapy appointments. My dad has been able to help and support her as she does all of that. And he has so much more time to spend with the babies. Addie spends tons of time with her papa and I'm so happy to see the relationships they are nurturing.
So today I am thankful that the nicest man in the world is my dad and my babies papa. I love you, Dad!