Male Bonding

When I first met Shay and we started dating I didn't know every detail about him, but I knew from very early on he was the man I was going to marry. There was no doubt in my mind... until he said he wasn't sure if he wanted kids. ha! Actually he didn't say he DIDN'T want them, he just wasn't sure WHEN he'd want them..... ha, little did he know!

n case you didn't know, our little blessings kind of snuck up on us.... there wasnt much planning.... then again, we don't plan much in our lives! We kind of fly by the seat of our pants every day. It's just what works best for us. =) Of course everything worked out just how it was supposed to in the end.... as usual.

So anyway, when parenthood happened to us, we couldn't be more thrilled, but Shay couldn't have been stretched thinner! Seriously... the poor guy was working 50-60+ hours a week (retail at that!) and going to school at A&M full time...12+ hours a semester. Summer school every session and now dealing with a sick newborn baby that NEVER slept. How Shay managed to study or graduate is beyond me. I know I couldn't have done it. Maybe that's why I quit when I did. ha.

Regardless, Shay never let work or school get in the way of being a dad. A real dad. He says things now how he wishes he would have had more time when Hank was a baby to do this and that, but he doesn't realize he was very much a part of his childhood, even if he didn't feel like it.

I remember Shay holding Hank for the first time in the hospital after he was born. He looked so scared! ha. He thought he was going to break him. But he got over that pretty quick. He quickly learned what Hank liked and how he wanted to be held. He knew as well as I did what he needed when he needed it even though I was the one with Hank 24/7. Shay was a good father from day one and even though he might not think so, he is an even better father today.

He tells me how he doesn't know how I do it. How I manage to raise the boys and remember their dr's appts, t-ball practice and games, know all Hank's friends names, and can always find Hank's blanket and dog "cinder" just by memory. Shay on the other hand is lucky if he remembers to pick his lunch off the counter before leaving for work in the morning (which truthfully he leaves 4 out of 5 days a week!) Honestly, I am in awe of all Shay can do. How he manages to go to work 60-70+ hours a week, run his OWN business ALONE (he lost his only employee almost a month ago) and still come home and find some energy to play with the boys, give hank and/or jace a bath if needed, play mario kart with hank (and me!) and then find time to pay attention to me. He truly is remarkable in my eyes. I only wish I could have the patience Shay has.

This man of mine is the love of my life. I love him for a million different reasons, but being a dad is probably the reason I love him most. He has this bond with Hank and Jace that I could never understand. They just adore him and he can do no wrong in their eyes, compared to me who is always the not-so-fun one who is always telling them "NO!" =)

Watching Shay with Hank is the sweetest thing. Shay enjoys nothing more than to teach Hank anything and everything he can, mostly sports. When Hank started T-Ball I actually think Shay was more excited than Hank. Shay couldn't wait to show him how to hit the ball or catch it. Shay grew up playing baseball (and was VERY good I might add) and I know it makes it that much more special for him to be a part of it all. I look forward to the day we are watching Hank play highschool ball and his daddy can say "when I played in highschool...." and tell him stories of his "glory days." I'm excited for the first time they enter a parent-child golf tournament like I did with my dad because then I can put those first place trophies with mine. I can't wait until Hank runs his first track meet and beats his daddys best time (maybe his Aunt Jodi's time too ;) ) Those will be the days.... and I love to think about them, but I hope they don't come toooo soon!

Shay and Jace have this connection that I envy. The second Jace hears that front door open at the end of the day, he wants down, out of my arms and races (crawling) to Shay. It's like a little dog wanting to play. From that moment, poor Shay is stuck carrying him around until bedtime. I feel bad for him, but there is no prying him away from his daddy. It's the most beautiful sight to me, even if at times all Shay wants to do is change his clothes! I think Shay has better odds at Jace being his football child. =) haha! I can imagine the days when all three of my boys are tackling each other in the yard because Jace has a game that weekend. Maybe we'll get lucky and Jace will decide against contact sports (at least that's what I hope!) and he'll follow in his daddy and brothers footsteps with baseball or running. Maybe he'll take after my side of the family and be the golfer. Who knows!!

No matter what the boys decide to do or be when they grow up, Shay will be right there, supporting them, rooting them on and teaching them everything he knows. If he doesn't know something about whatever it is, you can bet your butt Shay will learn everything he can just so he can help them in every way possible. He is the best father I could ever wish for for my boys and I'm so thankful he is and will always be their role model. What more could I ask for?

There will come a time when all my boys are sitting around enjoying the 'male bonding' rituals, more than likely, drinking a few "blue cans" together, taking about stories from "way back when" and I only hope they will have nothing but beautiful stories to share. Funny, loving, and probably embarrassing stories. I pray my boys will know by then (hopefully sooner!) how lucky and blessed they are to have the father they have.

I'm so so so thankful. Thankful for this life, for my kids and my husband, for my health and theirs. I'm just so overly thankful God chose me to be blessed with all that He has given me. I could never wish for more than all that I have. To have a father than loves his children and is not afraid to show it. To have a man to love me unconditonally despite my shortcomings. To have a family that has more than many. I am so very blessed and I cherish every moment.

Watching You -- Rodney Atkins

Driving through town just my boy and me
With a happy meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn't have the toy
Till his nuggets were gone
A Green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my breaks and mumbled under my breath
As fries went a flying and his orange drink covered his lap

Well then my four year old said a four letter word
That started with "s" and I was concerned
So I said son now where'd you learn to talk like that

He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said Lord please help me help my stupid self

Then this side of bedtime later that night
Turning on my son's scooby doo nightlight
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
And spoke to God like he was talking to a friend
And I said son now where'd you learn to pray like that

He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We like fixing things and holding mama's hand
Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug
Said my little bear is growing up
And he said but when I'm big I'll still know what to do

Cause I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
Then I'll be as strong as superman
We'll be just alike, hey won't we dad
When I can do everything you do
Cause I've been watching youHey yeah.. uh huh