10/30/13: The day my husband officially became a father.

I fell in love with my husband three times.

The first time I fell in love with who he was as a person - his thoughtfulness, generosity, humor and passion.

The second time I fell in love with who he was as a husband - my confidant, my rock, my safe place.

 The third time I fell in love with who he was as a father - gentle, loving, kind and goofy.

You see, the moment a man becomes a father he is forever changed.

He becomes a little softer, a little more forgiving, a little more patient. 

Somewhere in between watching him rocking our newborn to sleep, changing diapers, praying with our two-year-old, the piggy back rides and the tickle matches, I fell in a whole different kind of love with him - found a whole new admiration for him. 

In him, I know my sons have a best friend for life. I know that he will always be in their corner. I know that he will always be their hero and they will be his.

It’s those things, along with a zillion other every day things, that make dads so special. 

So Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads in our lives…

The new dads wearing baby carriers on their chests and shamelessly carrying floral diaper bags on their shoulders.

The dads of daughters - graciously accepting invitations to tea parties, learning to paint tiny fingernails pink, interrogating high school boyfriends and walking their little girls down the aisle with tears in their eyes.

The fathers of boys - hoisting mini-versions of themselves up on their shoulders, watching their victories and defeats from the bleachers, witnessing them become fathers themselves and giving out solid advice on everything from finances to home improvement projects.

The step-dads, single dads and male mentors.

Today and every day, may all of you know how much you are appreciated, admired and loved.