I knew you would be a great dad from the moment I told you we were going to have a baby. We were on our way to the Lakota Nation Invitational basketball tournament and you nearly wrecked the car (hindsight: break news to you when you’re not operating heavy machinery). Honestly, I wasn’t sure how you were going to take it, but the cheer and elation you expressed was something not even a Husker game could elicit from you, so I was confident in your dedication and commitment to the program 🙂
Fast-forward through the pregnancy, in which you totally earned a Best Supporting Actor award (driving 3.5 hours to Lincoln, then back again, just for Great Wall Chinese food, is the epitome of going “above and beyond”). The delivery was long and frustrating, but even through the haze of pitocin and endorphins, I could see Mimi had you wrapped around her little fingers from the moment she came out. I haven’t seen you since – ha! The 10,392 photos you took of her first few hours of life might hint at how you couldn’t get enough of her.
Mimi has never wanted for anything, especially love, from her father. I look at you and I see the best father a girl could ask for. Nearly four years into this gig and you’re a professional – an expert. I don’t know how I could function as a parent without you. I know moms are supposed to have this innate ability to… mother… but it’s such a mystery to me sometimes. My parenting inspiration comes from you, as I watch you interact and teach her what she needs to know. My late nights at the office, my long hours of studying for my master’s degree, my silly extra-curriculars… I used to feel guilty about not spending enough time with Mimi, but I’ve come to accept and fully appreciate that you are…
From teaching our daughter her Ojibwe language, to taking her on every kind of walking path imaginable, to signing her up for swim lessons, our daughter has the world at her fingertips, courtesy of her amazing father.
What’s so stunning, to me about this skill – this artistry – you possess is it is completely and utterly self-taught. You grew up without knowing your own father. He passed on and never extended his heart to love you as much as you deserved. And still, your heart brims with care and adoration for our daughter. She is blessed to have you. I am blessed to have you.
Happy Father’s Day, Dalton.