I know you say that I’m not going to grow up and get married, but you and I both know, that I just might. And I want you to know that I’m going to pick a man just like you. A man who will treat me exactly the way you treat Mommy.
I’m watching everything you do and say. When you kiss Mommy, I’m watching. When you tell her you love her, either in words or actions, I’m watching. When you laugh with her and back her up, I’m taking notes. I listen as you praise her, tease her, support her. I’m watching, too, and learning how a man should respect his wife. When I see you treat her with kindness, I’m watching. When she is sick and you tend to her, I am watching. When she is sad and you wrap your arms around her and just hold her, I am watching. When she is anxious and afraid, while you may not be able to empathize, you try your best to imagine the dark clouds that consume her and I see that. When you are her knight in shining armor and her greatest advocate, I see that. I see all those things and they subconsciously build up my expectations. This is what I will look for in a man.
But always please remember that I’m watching and taking it all in. So for all the good I see, I also see the rough times. When I see you keep your temper at bay, I learn self-control. When I see you rise above the circumstances, I learn fortitude. When you are humble and apologize, when you let go of a long-held grudge, I learn humility. When you do lose your temper or when you say something impulsively, I see the pain in your eyes and I learn what it is to regret. When you give up a dream vacation or a game of golf or even the last strawberry, I learn sacrificial love. When you lend a helping hand, I learn kindness. When you accept a helping hand, I learn humility again. When I see you frustrated or disappointed and I see you reach out to those who love and support you, I learn peace. When I see you, home early from work, present fully in the moment, I learn joy.
The boys are watching all of this, too. They’re learning how to treat women. We are all learning how to show love. We’re learning how to receive love. We are learning how to apologize and to forgive. We’re all watching, not just learning how to treat Mommy, but how to treat each person we encounter. We’re learning what we should expect in a relationship. So, please, please remember this, above all…I am watching. I am learning. I see you and Mommy as you love one another and I see you and Mommy fall. But I see you get up and I watch to see how gracefully you do it. I am learning what it is to be human from you, Daddy. Please teach me well.