Matt did not enter into fatherhood with any experience what-so-ever. He never grew up around babies. He only babysit a few times growing up and that was always for older, school aged kids. Until our first son was born, Matt had been the youngest member of his family. Not just his immediate family, but including all cousins. He really didn't have much experience with babies or young kids at all.
This might make some spouses a little nervous to start a family. But, I never was. I knew Matt to be a patient, kind, gentle, loving man, and I knew he would make an amazing father. He has certainly proven me right.
Matt has jumped right in, in every sense of the word since our kids were born. He changed Ryan's (and Zach's) first diapers in the hospital. He got up late at night with Ryan as much as I did when he was a newborn. (He didn't have to get up much with Zach because, well, neither did I! He just slept). He plays games and colors pictures, and lets the boys use him as a jungle gym on the floor. He is fun, and enthusiastic, and so loving towards our boys. I am pretty sure he is Ryan's favorite person in the whole world. He is a hands on Dad, and I couldn't imagine parenting without him.
Just like I'm not a perfect Mom, he's not a perfect Dad. I recently questioned whether I would be more patient if I worked more. Part of what helped reassure me that working more wouldn't necessarily change my patience is when Matt said, "Kristen, I work all day, and I still get impatient at the same things that make you impatient." He helped me realize that yes, part of parenting a toddler is frustrating, mind-numbing, and impatience inducing. He's honest and affirming of me in my role as a mother, even in my imperfections. And I hope he knows, that despite his own imperfections, that he is an amazing Dad, and Husband. (This post is about Matt as a Dad, but I have to at least briefly mention that Matt does the dishes after dinner every night, does the laundry more often than I do, takes care of the trash/recycling, and yes, of course, does the grocery shopping. He makes me a better Mother, by being such an wonderful, involved husband).
So, as I sit here in my eerily quiet house, by myself (the only time each week that I am alone in the house) I am spending my time writing about a wonderful man, father, and husband. He is one of the greatest gifts in my life, and I am so lucky he's mine. I love you, Matt!