Watching my husband become a dad and now almost 4 years into it, enhance his role and job of that with each day that passes and each kid that comes into our lives and calls him "dad" has honestly been one of the greatest joys. When you meet someone at 19 years old, you obviously have no idea what kind of father they will be....but after getting to know Jimmy a bit, from the very beginning I had no doubt he would take on the role of fatherhood someday quite well. And boy has he.
I have loved watching him learn all of the more technical duties fatherhood brings - you know, how to change a diaper, calm a crying baby, calm a crying mama (SO true!), make a bottle, wash the bottle, wash pump parts, pack pump parts, pack diaper bags, and the list could go on and on. But I have loved even more watching him grow emotionally as a person and dad with our two little ones. Watching him hold each of them for the first time and slowly but surely fall in love all over again with our adorable little humans that were entrusted to us. He has taken on the role of disciplinarian more than I have (let's be honest, it might be surprising, but I'm a complete softie) but knows just when he needs to bring on one of his famous playlists and just dance in the family room. His hugs can fix boo-boos and his jokes can turn crying into laughter. As Charlie is about ready to turn 4, it's even more fun to watch Jimmy interact with him - teaching him how to throw a ball, swing a bat, swing a golf club, swim, throw a football, kick a soccer ball, etc. These were the things that Jimmy dreamed about since when we found out Charlie was a boy - so it's even more fun for me to watch him, as I know he's look forward to this for so long! And miss Maddie. Well, to say Jimmy was terrified when we found out Maddie was a girl is an understatement. With four brothers, he told me he knew nothing about girls and was convinced she was going to look exactly like him, be 6 ft 5 in tall and never find a boyfriend (this was all in the sonogram room!!!). Luckily for all of us, she might have a tall stature, but she's gorgeous and even more fun - she's got him completely wrapped around her finger. He says he's terrified to have another girl (as we are not finding out what #3 is - only a few more weeks until we know!) mainly because of the attitude that Maddie already gives us all and her strong personality...but I think the truth is, he's not quite sure just how another sweet girl can win over his heart. Because boy has she.
No matter what though, Jimmy, in my eyes, is just the greatest dad. He's just what our family needs and knows what to do to keep us all running. And we love this guy so much!
Jimmy with Charlie and Maddie in the hospital. Seems hard to believe there is going to be a third one of these pictures in just a few weeks!!! (and no, his style doesn't change my friends - guessing he'll have a backwards hat on in #3 as well!)
While Jimmy is our immediate little family's shining star of a dad, Jimmy wouldn't be Jimmy without his own dad! Red Carter is one of a kind and helped his wife to raise five wonderful boys that have grown into five amazing men. I love hearing stories about Red when they were little and would go to the softball park to watch him play and then how he was their coach when they were older. While I didn't know him when he was just a "dad", his role as "Pops" in the Carter family is one that he doesn't take lightly. With 11 grandkids now, he stays busy watching them play and throwing his own dance parties at his house for the kids. He encourages them and all of us through his faith and love for God and his family. We are so very thankful for this guy!
And then there is my dad. Oh man. Too many things to say about this guy. The first thing to say is that I'm so glad he's a fighter. Looking back at this past year or so and his several battles with skin cancer and the grueling, unsightly treatments he went through with that, as well as find out he had aggressive prostate cancer and immediately knowing he just wanted to eliminate it because that was the best chance of survival, even with some of the not-so-fun things that could happen afterwords. I'm so glad that he's strong and has a great attitude towards everything. Never feeling sorry for himself and never letting anything stop him. He's amazing and the most fun dad and Papa ever. Tell him about a project you're thinking about? Now that he's retired, he'll likely show up at your house the next Monday with a game plan and supplies in hand (so watch out what you wish for!). He's amazing and we love him so so much!! (not to mention he has welcomed all 4.5 of us with open arms into his house the last week and gotten up with Charlie pretty much every morning at 5:15AM to eat Rice Krispies with him....this guy!)
Happy Father's day to these three amazing men!!!!! Life is so much better with you all in it!