He may not be the first to suggest a trip to the zoo or plan a family vacation, but he fixes all the boo-boos.
He may not always agree on matching family outfits or want to stop to take the hundredth photo, but he fixes all the boo-boos.
He may not post on Facebook or be excited about yet another PTA flyer, but he fixes all the boo-boos.
And that’s what matters. All those silly things I used to define as significant parts of our relationship and our parenting really aren’t what matters at the end of the day.
You see, he’s the first one we call out for when we are hurting or in pain. And he’s the first one who comes running to make it better. Not just for his daughter, but for his wife too. Not just when we yell out loud, but when he can tell how broken we are by the look on our faces.
Then he patches us back up. With Band-Aids, with ice packs, with a single hug—whatever it takes to make us better. Some days it looks like cleaning up a scraped knee on a toddler. Other days it looks like taking that same toddler out of the room when his wife has passed her breaking point. When Mama has the big kind of boo-boo you can’t really see—the kind that breaks us at our very core.
At four years old, most boo-boos can still be fixed with Band-Aids and an ice pop. These are the easy ones. The ones that look worse on the surface, but at the end of the day are just fine. The ones we feel confident we can handle. At least for me.
It’s the big girl boo-boos that hurt deeper. The ones we know are bound to come. The ones that Mama has been through herself and dreads seeing her daughter go through. The ones that a Band-Aid and an ice pop probably can’t fix. But Daddy can.
It’s a scary thing to imagine. To think about this little girl growing up to be a big girl someday. But then I look at her Daddy, and I remember every boo-boo he has made better for me for the last 16 years. Every heartache, every hurt—he’s found a way to fix them when I couldn’t, when I wouldn’t.
He’s held my hand and wiped away tears. He sat quietly while I screamed and spiraled beyond my control. He didn’t push when I needed silence and space. He resisted the urge to jump in and be the hero he is when he knew I needed to work through it myself first. He mastered the art of when to sit on the sidelines and when he needed to get on the field and carry me off.
And he brought the ice cream when things got really bad. For the little boo-boos and the big ones. He may not be able to save the world, but he fixes all the boo-boos and makes our world a better one.