He Didn’t Have To Be…

So, this post was actually supposed to be a few different posts that showed up over the course of 3 weeks, but as the saying goes: “Life Got In The Way…”

Anyway, this is a post dedicated to the Fathers in my life. The title of this post comes from a song. I don’t know what it is with me and music as titles, but such is life.

This is the first father I am going to talk about. This is Eric’s dad, Duane. I couldn’t ask for a better Father in Law. He is just about perfect as far as in Laws goes.

Duane accepted me from the get-go. I believe it’s Eric’s sister in law who said that Duane is just a big teddy bear, and it is so true!

Duane will drop anything he is doing to help us out. He is always willing to help and if Eric mentions a problem that needs a solution, Duane will figure it out.

He is a great Grandpa and loves to play with the kids. He buys little toys and stuff to keep at their house to keep the kids entertained – the most recent purchase was a Wii system. My kids are spoiled by their Grandpa.

Duane loves sports and travelling and he will often take us to ballgames and will figure out a way for us to go on some of their vacations with him and Eric’s mom. I am not complaining. I love spending time with Eric’s family!

I remember one time when Eric and I were engaged that I had a huge fight with my mom. I was so upset afterwards that I called Eric. They had 2 lines in their house: one upstairs, one downstairs – because Eric was the only kid left at home the 2nd line was pretty much his. Well, I call and he doesn’t pick up, so I call again. This time Duane answers – I ask if Eric was home and he tells me that he is asleep…I say something like, ‘Oh, okay…I’ll talk to him later’ but Duane comes in with, “NO, I’ll go wake him up.” He could tell that I was really upset and needed to talk to Eric. I am so appreciative of that.

Eric and I lived with his parents when we were first married and Duane and I worked in the same building (Yup, Eric’s parents also helped me find a job), so we rode into work together. We didn’t talk a whole lot, but anytime I had to go home early cause I wasn’t feeling well – he would work it out so that he could take me home.

Duane honors his Priesthood and has been such an influence in our lives. He’s been a witness at Tanis & Shaylyn’s baptisms and has been involved in each baby’s blessing. There was also a point where he was able to give my dad a blessing – that was an awesome experience. He’s also given me a blessing or two when I was having struggles that I didn’t want my parents to know about.

Yes, I pretty much have the best Father in Law anyone could ask for.

Next up is this man.

This is my Daddy. My Dad was the 1st of 4 kids and ended up being the father of 7 kids. I’m not sure that’s what he had planned out for his life, but he managed the best he could with what life gave him.

My Dad didn’t have much of an example of how to be a father as his dad was in the Air Force and wasn’t around much. His dad didn’t have any father figure to show him how to be a Dad, so it’s had to be learned. That being said: my Dad was a good Dad.

He supported us in our ‘dreams’ and never discouraged us. He was at every play I was ever in, was at every musical I was in (and he HATES musicals), showed up to every choir performance I had.

I love my Dad’s sense of humor. He is funny, even at times when he’s not trying to be. There are many times where he will go to tell a joke – only to forget the punch line. I love that he enjoys the same types of games as Eric and is always willing to play them.

We didn’t really go on any interesting vacations growing up, it was always the same vacation – every other year, but he tried to make it so we did something different while we were there each year. Once, we travelled to Old Faithful, another time we went to a ghost town and another time we went to see ‘City of Rocks’, well that last one sounded much more exciting than it ended up being, but the point is – he tried.

A few years ago my Dad was on his was home from work and was hit by a drunk driver. When I got the call that he was in the hospital, I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital. Luckily he ended up with bumps and bruises and a minor concussion. But, when something like that happens, you take a hard look at what you have. I am thankful my Daddy is still here.

He honors his Priesthood and has been able to to the witness to the baptisms of Tanis & Shaylyn. He’s been able to be involved in the blessings of each of my babies and he even gave me a Father’s Blessing before Tanis was born so that I would feel at peace since he was born a month early. I’ve always known I could call on him if I needed a blessing.

My Dad also got the luck and had to take me to get my Drivers License. He spent his day off in the crowded DMV, just sitting around waiting for me to be called and to get my license. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

My Dad is great with the Grandkids and will always joke around with them. Anytime Shaylyn had pig tails, he would put their faces together and act like Shaylyn was a periscope on a submarine and her pigtails were the periscopes handles. It always made me laugh – she is too big for that now, but hopefully he will do the same thing with Ailey.

Now on to perhaps the most important Daddy in my life:

This cute little baby:

Who turned into this cute little boy:

Who is now this handsome man:

Eric is such a great Daddy! He was really anxious at first to be a Dad because he wasn’t ever really around little kids. He was the youngest in his family and he didn’t spend much time with cousins that were younger than him. His only real experience came with all the time I spent taking care of my little brother while we were dating and first married. When Tanis came along, though – Eric stepped right up and has been a great Dad ever since.

Eric has a unique and different fathering style and relationship with each of his kids. He knows exactly how to give each kid what he needs and knows how to punish each kid according to what works for that child.

Eric is good at sacrificing his time for his children. He gets Tanis and Lex asking him to play games with them – games that he’d rather not play, or games that are just plain difficult to play with young people. Yet, he will do that for them.

He has these AMAZING conversations with Shaylyn. Because they are both ‘brainy’ people, they can come up with all sorts of if/and situations that they play off each other. It’s awesome to watch – well as far as I can follow them. 😉

Nathaniel is his wrestling buddy. They will wrestle and goof off all the time together.

Eric definitely loves his baby girl. He will hold her and snuggle with her, without being urged to do so, or told that I need him to. It’ll be interesting to watch that relationship grow.

Eric’s been a great support and has always taken my well being over his. I can’t tell you how many times he’s felt like crap, but because I was sick – he took over the house and kids. He always makes sure I am okay with his plans before he does anything. He’s always looking for things we can do together and I love that about him.

I am so glad that he’s lived worthy to bless each of our kids (Ailey’s is coming soon) and that he’s been able to baptize both Tanis and Shaylyn.

I am so thankful for the man that he has become. And I’ve been able to watch him grow from boy to man and I’ve seen things change with him and it’s awesome!

I hope each of them knows what they mean to me and I hope they all had an awesome Father’s Day!!!

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