Until I was thirteen, Father's Day didn't have a whole lot of meaning to me. It was just another Sunday in June. But that completely changed when my mother married the amazing man I now call my dad.
Now, every Father's Day I struggle to find a card for him. They just don't make cards for the non-standard family. They start with phrases like "Ever since I was little . . ." or "Remember when I was a child . . ." Those phrases don't pertain to us. Occasionally I would find one that said "For my Step-Dad." But that didn't work either.
He isn't my Step-Dad. He isn't just my mother's husband. He's the man who comforted me the first time I had my heart broken. The one who stared down and interrogated my first date. The one who didn't like it when I started wearing eye liner and lip stick. He's the one who taught me to drive, to wash a car properly, to iron a dress shirt and balance a checkbook. He's the one who told me the best thing I can ever do for myself is maintain good credit (and to this day occasionally asks me what my FICO score is to make sure I am following his advice). This is the man who walked me down the aisle and held my babies minutes after they were born.
He took a thirteen year old angry smart ass, and turned her into a strong, confident, caring and compassionate woman. Who is still occasionally a smart ass. But it's one of the things he appreciates most. He may not be the man who contributed to my DNA, but I am his. I may not look like him, but I am like him in so many ways. He is my Dad. I am who I am because of him.
And not only am I lucky to have him, but I am also blessed to have an amazing father in law. He's quiet and sweet, gentle and generous. His greatest joy is being with his family. He taught all three of my kids to swim. He helps me shuttle the kids to baseball practices and games. He's painted countless walls, put together furniture, installed appliances and moved boxes. And no matter what we have asked for or needed, he has never complained. And best of all, he has always treated me like I was his own daughter. I know Uberman is the amazing husband and father he is because of this man.
I always knew I loved Uberman. And when we had our babies, I knew he would be a good father. He researched everything we needed for a baby. He was so concerned about which car seat was the safest, which stroller was the sturdiest, which crib would be the most comfortable. So I knew he had it in him. But nothing prepared me for the love I would feel for this man when I watched him with his children. His kindness, his compassion, his patience and protective instinct. He continually blows me away.
I know my boys will grow up to be kind and responsible men. And my daughter will grow up and know how to recognize a good man. I know this because of the strong examples the three of them have in their lives. I feel so lucky to now know what Father's Day is all about. To celebrate these three amazing men in my life.
And to all the other ubermen out there who are doing the best they can to raise their families and make this world a better place, Happy Father's Day to you!