Whenever anyone would bemoan the fact that their children were growing up and moving away, my dad would always say, “Just wait. They’ll come back…and they’ll bring more with ’em!”
It’s so true. In the 10 years since my kids started leaving home, they’ve not only returned home to live for a short period of time here or there, but they’ve brought college friends, roommates, dates, and co-workers for visits too.
Then there are those that come to stay.
If you read much here you know I write a lot about my family. My parents, kids and grandkids all show up occasionally. Okay, the grandkids probably more than occasionally! But there’s one guy that you probably don’t see much. Maybe that’s just the way it is with in-laws. With his fourth Father’s Day looming, I thought it might be time to change that.
Rachel met her Montana-man in Germany. We had Skyped a few times but I didn’t get to meet Daniel until they were married and Cohen was on the way. I’m not sure who was more nervous that day, me or him.
If I’m going to be honest, dear son-in-law, I wasn’t sure at the beginning. As with many newlyweds, y’all were young, and I wasn’t sure how well you really knew one another. I didn’t know you well…or really, at all. I hadn’t a clue what to expect. I just wasn’t sure that you had come to stay. You probably weren’t sure either.
But you have proved me wrong.
When you donned those scrubs and followed Rachel into the OR, all wild-eyed and terrified because of the quick turn of events in Cohen’s birth plan, I felt you had come to stay.
When you lived up to your beliefs and commitments and marched off to war, even though it nearly broke your heart in two to leave them, I realized you had come to stay.
When you walked out of the OR carrying Cambrie and stooped down to introduce your first-born to your second-born, I saw you had come to stay.
And when you welcomed me into your home during one of the hardest seasons of my life, I knew that you had come to stay.
Daniel, you have gone from being my son-in-law to being my son-in-love. When people ask me how many children I have, I now say three. I am forever grateful to Kim and Nancy, Grandpa Tom and Grandma Jackie, and Grandma Grace for teaching you the values of family, loyalty, and commitment. Their legacy lives on through you and now into your children. I am grateful for their willingness to share you with our side of the family.
Thank you for being a good husband and father. For loving Rachel and the children in a way that is real and visible. For fitting into our family seamlessly. My prayer for you is that you continue to grow in love and wisdom and leadership in your family.
Happy Father’s Day, Daniel. Thank you for coming to stay.