He’s more than strong arms and broad shoulders. He’s more than a deep voice that is sometimes scary. He’s more than the man we share a home with who always seems to be working. He’s more than the sweat on his forehead or the surprises he brings home. He’s so much more than you’re able to see right now . . . but I hope one day you do.

He’s the man who works harder than anyone I know to provide for his family.

He comes home in the evening after a 10-hour day with a smile on his face and treats in his hand. I hope you always remember the way it feels to hear, “Honeys, I’m home!” because that’s the sound of your dad.

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He’s the one who always manages to stay calm through even the most stressful situations. When I’m having a nervous meltdown and on the verge of tears, he’s the one who slides in a funny joke to put a smile back on my face. He’s always there to shield us from the scary things in life, and he picks us up every time we fall. I wish you could see how intently he listens at the dinner table as you talk about your day at school.

He is the man who speaks the truth no matter what because we all need to hear it. He is also the most selfless man I’ve ever known, but if you’d ask him, he would say he’s selfish. He never hesitates to give more than what he has without worrying about filling his own tank. He’s used to running on empty. He calls every day on his way home, and when he senses stress in my voice, he suggests we order pizza to prevent me from having to cook. He’s the one who cleans the kitchen and all the dishes every night after dinner without being asked to do so. And if you pay attention, you’ll see when he leaves us in the morning, he pauses to take a second glance back before walking out the door.

He’s the dad who isn’t too manly to play with Barbies or braid your hair.

He’s the dad who gives the best goodnight kisses and never misses a chance to do it. He kisses boo-boo’s and never breaks a pinky promise. He’s the dad who wipes snotty noses and gives the best back rubs. He may not admit it, but he loves our Taylor Swift kitchen dance parties.

He somehow always knows what to say when I’m speechless, which is rare. And even though he does give the best advice, his actions say so much more. He is more patient than I could ever dream of being. He has strong morals and values that he stands by no matter what. He is honest and trustworthy and always puts his family first. He is the glue of this household, and it would crumble to pieces without him. He is a magnificent leader and shows you every day what to look for in a husband.

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But, behind that powerhouse of a man, there are emotions and struggles.

He worries about his children every day. He is endlessly contemplating how to make ends meet that week. He’s constantly beating himself up for not being more involved even though he’s working 60+ hours every week. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for just a little more time. He works tirelessly, and he is exhausted.

Here’s the thing about the best dads–they get little recognition and even less praise.

Most of the time, they don’t even see how great they really are. So, it’s our job to make every effort to turn it around and ensure they feel our love and appreciation. He makes living with three girls look like a day in the park, but we know it can be tough. He pushes us to grow and take chances. He teaches you how to be responsible and work hard. He is the definition of a team player.

I can’t say it enough–he is the most wonderful man I’ve ever known, and one day you’ll see it too. Right now, it’s our job to make sure he, along with all the other great dads, don’t go unnoticed. He’s more than what you see.

Lorin Hawks

I am always searching and frequently confused. I seek to find the good inside of every person I encounter. Endlessly in deep thought, collecting stories, and trying to figure people out. Step-mom to two beautiful girls, and mommy to one precious baby boy.