5 Things I Most Admire About My Husband Becoming a Dad - MetroFamily Magazine
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5 Things I Most Admire About My Husband Becoming a Dad

by Hayley Leatherwood

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All I want to do is listen to the stream of laughter spilling down the stairs. It’s bath time, and I am now free to pursue any chores or interests I like, but here I am choosing to lean against the wall so I can hear my husband, Grant, physically banging into the bathroom cabinets and doors because he has taught our daughter, Andie, how to use “the Force.”

Our road to parenthood wasn’t a straight shot. We met twists and turns of infertility and miscarriage, but after four years, we were gifted our Andie to steward through this life. One of my greatest joys has been watching Grant transition into fatherhood. Here are my top five things I have admired along the way.

1. It was love at first sight

I have never seen a person change in an instant until I saw Grant hold Andie for the first time. Our labor and delivery nurse handed him our daughter, perfectly bundled in a footprint swaddle and striped knit hat. Everything about his demeanor simultaneously gentled and strengthened. He cradled her in his forearms with her looking up at him, and the first thing she heard her father say was “I’ll love you forever.”

In that moment, all the injections, surgeries and losses faded away. This new memory was so big it kicked out all the past trauma and filled me with the assurance I had my own forever partner in loving this special girl.

2. Salon DaDa is always open

Grant has the patience for detailed work and taking time to do things correctly. Never has this been more apparent to me than when observing the detailed art of nail trimming. For those who have seen newborn nails, they are a feat of nature. How can something be so tiny yet fiercely sharp?! Now as a toddler, for Andie everything is interesting and meant to be explored, so having a constantly moving target is a nice little challenge.

Not only is he the official manicurist in our home, he is also the only one I trust to put together the multitude of baby products, tools, safety guards, etc. He actually reads the instructions and completes the project correctly, no matter how long it takes.

3. He’s making her, like, a really cool girl

Let’s face it, our daughter’s face looks a lot like mine. But I have been appreciating the way her mind has been growing and I see Grant’s influence all over it. We joke that Grant is a human “Shazam” because he can identify almost any song within a few beats of its beginning. During a recent trip to school, Andie identified an instrumental song to the specific “Bluey” episode it came from — Mind. Blown.
In addition to music, he’s also showing her how to do impressions of her favorite characters. Hearing an almost two-year old say, “Oh boy!” like Mickey Mouse is fantastic in my book. Their conversations are my favorite part of the day because he genuinely listens to her and gets her to think about her view of the world and find her place in it.

4. We are “Team Leatherwood”

One of the things I have long admired about my husband is that, although he cares deeply about other people, he doesn’t let others’ opinions guide his decision-making. Being a first-time parent is challenging in many ways and the comparison trap is an easy pit to fall into. Instead of getting caught up in milestones, he celebrates Andie for who she is, always.

5. History is repeating

I had the privilege of growing up with a father who loved me unconditionally. When Grant asked my dad permission to marry me, my dad responded by saying, “I hope someday you have the joy of giving your daughter to someone of your caliber.” I lost my dad unexpectedly six years ago, and, although I desperately wish he was still here with us, I find great joy in watching the relationship Grant and Andie have together. Much like my relationship with my dad, I know Grant is instilling confidence in her to discover who God made her to be.

At dinner a few nights ago, Andie told Grant, “DaDa big. DaDa strong. DaDa brave.” I can’t think of a better string of compliments to illustrate how she views her dad as her safe place. The “Fatherhood Force” is definitely strong with this one.

Hayley Leatherwood is the managing editor for Oklahoma Living magazine, the state’s largest subscription-based publication. She and her husband, Grant, are both Oklahoma natives working in media and have been married for 10 years. They enjoy spending time with their blind dog, Pete, and their expressive daughter, Andie Jane, who is showing signs of being a communicator already.

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