I've always known Reece would be a really good dad.
When we were first dating, we spent a lot of time on the phone -- kind of a given when you live more than 100 miles apart.
The question game was a favorite pastime of ours.
One night I asked him to tell me five important things about him.
His list was simple, but I can still remember two of the things he shared:
his favorite color is brown...
and his greatest dream was to have a little girl of his own.
At the time, his response freaked me out a bit. I mean, who likes the color brown?
Oh yeah, and it was a bit shocking that the guy I had been dating for mere weeks already wanted to talk kids.
But secretly, his response gave me butterflies.
When we found out I was pregnant, Reece's first response was, "It's a girl!"
As we sat in the dark ultrasound room about 6 weeks later, nervously clinging to each others' hands, he repeated that sentiment.
"It's a girl, Jess. I'm getting my little girl."
He was right.
He got his little girl.
From the moment Lola took her first breath, Reece belonged to her.
He never let her out of his sight during our 3-day stay at the hospital.
He spent a night wheeling her around in her little hospital cradle with his thumb in her mouth so I could sleep.
He watched every move the nurses made when they came to perform the standard checkups.
He made sure her little hat stayed on her head and her little diaper stayed dry.
Once we got home, he insisted on waking up with us every night.
He was the one to get out of bed, pick up our girl, change her diaper, swaddle her back up, give her a kiss and place her on my lap for her midnight (and 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.) snack.
He took two weeks off work to get to know this little girl, the one he had been waiting for his whole life.
He taught her to laugh.
He taught her to smile.
He taught her to roll.
He taught her to nerd out.
He buys her books.
He buys her gingerbread cookies.
He buys her elephant water bottles at the zoo.
He checks on her dutifully while she sleeps.
He puts her to bed every night.
He sings to her.
He prays with her.
But most of all, he's shown his daughter what it means to have someone love you more than anything else.
He's shown her how a boy is supposed to treat a girl.
He's shown her that no matter how scary the world can be, she will always find safety and peace in his arms.
I'm grateful to be married to a man who loves my daughter as much as I do.
I'm grateful he's the kind of father my own father is to me.
I'm grateful I've come to understand how lucky I am to have been raised by that father, and owe so much to him for loving me the way Reece loves Lola.
Because now I finally get it.
Lola and I love our daddies.
Happy Father's Day to all.