You’ve always been the calm one. The steady force that keeps this family from going off the rails. The man who steps up and protects us from the scary things life throws our way. You make jokes when things are too serious. You remain composed when we are melting down. You’ve spent years wrapping your strong arms around our moments of weakness. You have handed out advice to our babies and they will grow up to be better adults because of your words. And you have loved our children unconditionally over the years in a way that makes us fall head over heels with you all over again today.

But can we tell you something?

We see you, too.

We know that last week when you walked out of the room it was because you were choked up and having a hard time finding your words.

We know that this morning, while sipping your coffee and staring out the kitchen window, you were talking to God and asking Him to please keep our babies safe when they leave this week.

We know that when you hug your daughter just a little longer than usual and she tries squirming away with, “Dad! Stop!!” that you just don’t have the heart to let go. Not quite yet.

We get that this is tough on you, too.

We know you are struggling with a mix of emotions similar to our own.

With the excitement of seeing how he wears his newfound freedom.

To seeing how perfectly she will put together her dorm room.

We know you worry, just like us, that our babies grew up too quickly;

That the years have gone by faster than we ever dreamed they would.

While we have been off picking up dorm room essentials, we see you quietly checking the oil in her car.

While we’re buying furniture for his new apartment, we see you staying up, long after everyone else has gone to bed, putting it together.

While we’ve ensuring paperwork has been timely submitted, we know you are busy moving money around and making it all somehow work.

That’s what you do.

You make it all come together.

You keep us from all falling apart.

You have given our kids the tools they need to go build a beautiful world of their own.

So today, we need you to know we see you, too. And we need to thank you for the amazing job you have done raising our children.

They’re going to be good.

They’re going to do well.

They’re going to figure out how to balance it all.

Thanks to you, the dad they have had in their lives.

You may also like:

To My Husband: Thank You For Being A Great Man

Thank You For Being a Daddy Who Buttons the Snaps

Daddies, Your Sons Are Watching You

Stephanie Faro

Stephanie Faro is a wife, mother of 3, breast cancer survivor and a manager of sales in the health care industry who lives just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a BSW by background and is currently working on her first book. Stephanie believes that passing the baton of wisdom and experience to the next generations of women is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can show as we all attempt to find balance in a life filled with complications, social media overload and Jesus.