When we got married, they asked me what I loved most about you. My response was your ability to keep me grounded and your sense of humor. It is still both of those qualities that I love most about you, but now I value them as a co-parent, rather than a spouse.
I'll never forget the day you came home and I took your hand, leading you into the bathroom where the positive pregnancy test lay on the counter. Your smile said more than any words could have. And the first time we heard her little heartbeat, you squeezed my hand and communicated more to me in that squeeze than you had ever said out loud.
On the day she was born, you couldn't take your eyes off of her. You became a father that day, and you've grown so much since then. Undoubtedly, you were nervous about the type of father you would be, whether you admitted it or not. I've loved every minute of watching you grow into that role and mold yourself into the type of parent I am lucky to have by my side.
We've weathered our share of hard times as new parents. In the beginning, we were convinced our baby girl would not stop crying. Instead of letting it get to you, you would come home from work, take her off my hands, and insist that I take a few minutes to myself. In those few minutes, I found time to breathe and regroup. Without those few minutes, I might have slowly lost my mind.
When I doubted myself, when I thought we jumped into this parenthood journey too soon, and when I just didn't think I could endure another day, you were there. You were there to calm me down, to make me laugh at myself, and to whisper encouraging words when I was slipping into a dark place. You never gave up, even when I tried to.
Here we are, eight months under our belts, with a happy, healthy baby girl. Our house has calmed down and somewhere along the way, we've managed to fall into a nice routine. Your confidence in yourself as a dad has grown leaps and bounds. There isn't anything in this world I enjoy more than watching you interact with our baby. I can't wait to, God willing, expand our family and give you this opportunity over and over.
On your first Father's Day, I just want to say I am proud of you. I am proud of the father that you've become, the steadfast husband you've been to me and the family man I see when I look at you.
To all new dads and dads-to-be, I leave you with this: Trust your instincts. Somewhere inside of you is the father that your family needs. Embrace this new role, make it your own, and enjoy each and every minute. There is no view better than seeing the world through an adoring father's eyes.