Is it working hard to provide a roof and food for his kids? Skipping meals because he needs the hours, leaving the house before the sun rises because he has to be home to catch the school bus?
Sure, sometimes it is.
Is it the patience to spend hours teaching ball-throwing and hook-baiting? To hold a nail while little hands try to hammer it in and hoping that nothing gets broken?
Is it the sacrifice of coaching little league, keeping time at swim meets and watching hours of hockey practice?
Yep, it can be that, too.
Is it disciplining with the perfect mix of sternness and gentleness? Rebuking and correcting when needed, but always remembering to be an encourager, too?
Is it the laughter when he’s a human jungle gym, the willingness to play tea party and the spontaneous dance parties when mom is away? The 3am wake up calls for bad dreams and wet beds?
Yes, sometimes it’s that, too.
But I think the real thing that makes a man a daddy, the thing that everything else flows from, is that look right there. That look in his eyes when he holds his baby for the first time or the fiftieth time.
That look of love.
The love that says, “I won’t always do everything right, but I’ll always do everything I can.”
The love that says, “I’ll give you my best, because you’re the best of me.”
The love that says, “I don’t know what’s coming in the future, but I’ll be here to help you through it.”
The love that says, “You’re mine. No matter what anyone says, no matter what you do, no matter what may come. You’re mine and nothing could make me happier.”
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.