“Dada” is my favorite word. Not necessarily my son’s favorite word. I think that might be “book” or “ball.” But out of his 20-something words, my favorite to hear him say is “Dada.” 

Looking back, I guess my husband and I were lucky. Our sweet boy did us the favor of saying “Mama” and “Dada” for the first time on the same day. I’m not even sure I remember which came first. We were just ecstatic that our son knew our names and could call for who he specifically wanted. We coaxed and prodded, wanting to hear those names again and again in that tiny, angelic voice. Now hearing those names is an hourly occurrence. 

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I spend my days listening to stories about Dada. Sometimes, he’ll turn to me and say “Dada” and then smile. I learned quickly that means take a picture to send to Dada at work. In the evenings, I will glance over just in time to see his little ears perk up at the sound of the garage door opening and hear an excited, “Dada!” The other night as I crawled into bed, I heard a tiny voice come through the monitor. As I mentally prepared myself for whatever this wake-up would hold, I realized he was talking in his sleep. I heard babbling, giggling, and then “Dada” followed by more giggling.

My son truly loves his daddy. 

There is a reason our son loves my husband so much. It’s many of the same reasons I fell in love with him myself. He is our protector, always a safe place for our family. He is our provider, caring well for our physical needs. He is our guide, always pointing us toward God. He loves us well every minute of every day. He’s not perfect, no one is.

But there is a reason that Dada coming home is my and my son’s favorite time of the day. He is a good man. And he is our good man. More than anything else, he is there for us day in and day out. We are so grateful to call him ours. 

I have always wanted to be a mother, so when I was dating, I often felt like I was essentially interviewing prospective fathers for my future babies. I would watch how men would interact with children, but also how they interacted with anyone beneath them. I knew my husband was the right one when there was never anyone he saw as beneath him.

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Now that we are taking on this crazy challenge called parenting, I see that mindset lived out daily. He puts our son ahead of his needs. He puts me ahead of his needs. He is truly a good man. He is a wonderful and attentive husband. He is a loving and involved father.

He is Dada, a name that is filled with so much love. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear my son say “Mama.” It melts my heart. But every time I hear that sweet voice call for Dada, I know I was right about my husband. Our son sees so purely right now, untainted by worldly definitions of manliness and strength. He sees the true definition of a man in how well his dada loves him and his mother. He sees true strength in the way his dada puts him first. He is quick to sing his dada’s praises. He probably doesn’t hear it enough from me, but he is amazing in so many ways. 

I wonder what stories I’ll hear about Dada tomorrow when I look into the striking blue eyes my son got from that wonderful dada of his. 

Dorothy Cagle

Dorothy is a stay-at-home mom to a rambunctious little boy. She is married to her superhero and love of her life, Ethan.