Sunday, June 19, 2011

A hero too often unsung

I don't talk too much about Jimmy on this blog, and for good reason (he doesn't like our personal business being discussed publicly, and I agree). But with today being Father's Day (which, yes, I know, is a greeting card holiday, but so what?), I wanted to take a minute to sing the praises of this wonderfully devoted father who too often goes unrecognized for all the things he does.

Jimmy is a stay-at-home dad. Since the economic downturn, it's been hard for him to find a job, and when Jolie came, it ended up working out perfectly for him to be a SAH dad, because we wouldn't have been able to afford daycare anyway. (Seriously, that sh**'s expensive!) So this usually means that he doesn't get the respect he deserves. Stay-at-home moms have traditionally never gotten much respect, as the general perception is that they are rich, spoiled housewives with a lot of time to be condescending and pretty and do charity work. And when it's the man who stays home instead of the woman, it looks even worse, because society believes that men should always be breadwinners, even as women have become a bigger part of the workforce. They're seen as lesser men.

The truth is that it takes a truly strong person to take care of a child 24/7. Being a stay at home parent is HARD. Especially during these early years, because children of Jolie's age require a lot of attention because they are old enough to start getting themselves into scrapes. She's at a highly impressionable age, learning words and ideas and starting to shape her perceptions of the world around her. I have a hard job too, but I think that what Jimmy does is even harder, and there are no awards or compensation or even a break for SAHDs. I get to go home at the end of the day from my job, but his is 24/7. And he loves her so much. Sometimes I just sit back and watch them interact, and the love in his eyes when he looks at his daughter is a beautiful thing to see. Jolie is a truly lucky girl to have Jimmy as her father.

Jolie's quirky, silly sense of humor comes from her dad. Jolie's unusual perceptiveness comes from her dad. Her irreverent view of things comes from her dad. (I came home one day, and they were both watching The Omen together in the armchair. Jolie was dancing to the Latin chanting.) She is strong and healthy and energetic because of her dad. Jolie is special because of her dad.

Happy father's day to my love, my baby's daddy.

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