You know he’s a good dad when…she is crying in the night, and he gets out of bed and goes into her room to soothe her. And after a few minutes, you don’t hear her crying anymore…
You hear her laughing. In fact, you hear them both laughing. (And you roll your eyes and groan into your pillow.)
You know he’s a good dad when…he builds forts in the living room, and tells stories in the dark and at least once a week does something extremely impulsive, unpredictable or dangerous with your child. Something that makes you ask, “What were you thinking?!!” (This is part of what makes him a dad.)
You know he’s a good dad when…after you get home from your date to the movies, and the babysitter leaves, he goes into her room and carries her tired, sleeping body into your bed, just so he can hold her close, and ask her how she’s doing, and tell her how beautiful she is, even if this means she will just roll around and kick you both in the head for the next two hours. And somehow, he still falls asleep with a big smile on his face.
You know he’s a good dad when…everyday when he gets home from work, your daughter bolts through the house to greet him and screams hysterically like someone who has just won “The Price Is Right.” (And this is completely fitting, because you know he is worth more than all the money and treasure in the world.)
You know he’s a good dad when…he sneaks her some kind of treat or dessert without you knowing. Right before bedtime. Right after you just brushed her teeth. And you find this out while she bursts into the room, shouting, “Dad gave me chocolate chips!!!” And though he is “shushing” her fiercely, you see a giant brown ring around her mouth. And he just grins.
You know he’s a good dad when…you catch him belting out “Let it Go” at the top of his lungs. When he’s by himself. (Even though he denies it, and tells you how much he hates that movie.)
You know he’s a good dad when…he sits with her and actually watches shows like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” And he watches intently, like this is isn’t a show about a tiger who doesn’t wear pants, but instead like it’s “the movie of the year” and and it’s won all kinds of awards. And like this is the most important thing he could ever be doing. (Because to her, it is.)
But above all…
You know he’s a good dad…when your daughter’s hair smells like Old Spice deodorant.
Because he holds her that much. And that close.
And you pray he always does. You pray she always carries his scent on her.
Because every little girl needs to know she is loved. Like this.
In the way only her Dad can love her.
In the way only her Dad can make her feel.
Prized and precious.