It was finally Friday after a very long week. I’m a teacher and we had just wrapped up the third week of school, when we should be settling back in to our school-time routine around the house. However, this week was different because my husband was working until midnight all week.

My husband and I tag-team bedtime like champs; he takes our 2-year-old son and I take our newborn and together we knock out baths, bedtime books, and bottles, and the kids get to bed without a hitch (most nights). But this week, I had to tackle bedtime routine all alone. 

Let me tell you I was pretty overwhelmed Monday night, but by Friday I had it down. However, I was extremely tired, and ready to have my husband back around bedtime. And I wasn’t the only one.

We were winding down our routine, and I was putting down the baby in his bassinet when I heard our son’s tiny voice behind me.

“Mommy smell this.”

Now if you’ve ever been a mom to a 2-year-old boy, you know this is not my favorite thing to hear my son say. But as I turned around, half expecting to see him holding his own dirty diaper, I looked down to see him holding one of my husband’s shirts. He lifted it to his nose, closed his eyes shut tight, and took a big sniff.

“What’s it smell like, baby?” I asked.

I was intrigued, and wondering if he’d plucked it out of the dirty clothes and was sniffing my husband’s sour smelling shirt.

“It ‘mell like Daddy.”

I watched as he smelled it again closing his eyes the same way he had before, and I wondered what he was thinking about.

Maybe he was picturing playing cars on the floor of our living room with his daddy. Or maybe he was thinking about running in our backyard to chase the ball that his daddy had thrown to him. Maybe he was reminiscing on the many times he and his daddy had cuddled together on the couch getting ready for bed.

I’m not sure what he was picturing, but I do know what he was feeling. He was feeling the warm, radiating love of his daddy. He was feeling the tight squeezes and the forehead kisses and the I love yous his daddy gives him every day.

My heart jumped into my throat as it grew with love for my oldest baby and my husband. And my toddler carried around that shirt for the rest of the night. He dragged it through the house, his tiny fingers wrapped around that white t-shirt as tight as the grip he has on my heart. And when it came time to climb into bed the shirt came, too, and he snuggled it close to his chest as he drifted off to sleep.

I looked at him and I was overwhelmed with love for my baby. His heart is so full of love. And how blessed I am to have a husband like mine who loves our babies like he does.

A bond between a father and son is a beautiful thing to witness. I have been so lucky to get to watch as my husband has turned into such an amazing dad.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Nicole Miller

My name is Nicole Miller and I'm a small town Nebraska girl. I have two young boys with my husband and high school sweetheart and my boys are my life. I teach middle school Language Arts and love teaching kids what I love to do.