Today is my husband's birthday. Please don't tell him I told you, because he apparently hates his birthday. I'm a big fan of birthdays, and have decided to celebrate his, whether he wants to or not. In order to do this in a way that doesn't make him mad at me, I'm celebrating here with a list of why my husband would make a good father. (Wink, wink! There's an ulterior motive here -- see if I can convince you that he would make a good parent, maybe I'll be able to convince him one day.)
1. He's a constant learner and questionner. I believe that children learn some things about life from watching how their parents interact with the world. He loves to debate topics and experiment and research ideas and talk through something and pick up a brand new hobby and learn about it. This love of learning is infectious, and I know he'll pass that one to our kids. He'll probably also cause many visits to the ER, but that just adds to the spice of life. What kind of a childhood can it really be with no ER visits? Well, mine, but that's precisely my point -- mine was mostly boring. He would make sure that our kids' growing up wasn't boring.
2. He is tender and loving. While he is convinced that a kid would turn up on his discarded hobby-of-the-month pile at some point, I'm convinced that's not the case. I've seen him with other people's kids, and he's great. He has a Godson he writes letters to, because one day that kid will want to read them. He is quiet and kind and not afraid to cry or say he's sorry. Besides, loving a child of your own is one of those things that you can't imagine until you're a parent and then you can't imagine not being a parent again (at least that's what my parent-friends tell me). He's just too sweet a soul to become apathetic or mean to a child.
3. He is committed to his family. This overdeveloped sense of family of his is very endearing and a little maddening at the same time. His sister is not a very nice person, and takes out most of her anger on their mother. Who is the good son that talks his mother off the ledges after the shouting matches? My husband. Who still calls the sister on her birthday even though she hasn't talked to us in months? My husband. Who is constantly remarking how brilliant his 10-year-old stepsister is and talking with her mother about ideas to nurture her creativity? My husband. Who takes every call from his uncle who just wants to talk non-stop about cameras and no one ever wants to listen to him? My husband. Who is convinced my baby sister can do anything she wants if she's just encouraged enough? Well, besides me? My husband. Who offered to have my crazy sister come live with us when she hit rock bottom? My husband. I'm constantly amazed by how hard he tries to give all the family members around him what they need, even when that's not reciprocated.
4. He's encouraging. Anytime we talk about other people, his thoughts always turn to what they're great at. These observations generally have nothing to do with what he's good at. He's genuinely interested in recognizing their strengths, even if they don't notice them themselves. This is vital in parenting, as you can't just try to raise mini-mes that the parent lives vicariously through. As such, I know he would help our children explore themselves and discover the innate talents that they have and then practice them in order to better succeed as people.
5. He loves my cupcakes. I'm not certain that this will make him a good dad, but it might. Meanwhile, I better go finish them before he gets home. What's a birthday without cake?
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
3 months ago