I imagine you receive many entries about very involved fathers. My story is a little different, but just as deserving. My husband, Aaron, is in the U.S. Army and has been in Iraq since our son, Gage, was three months old. His love for our son hasn't changed at all since he has been gone.
Aaron still finds so many thoughtful ways to be there for him and me. He gives me advice and suggestions on raising Gage, and sends gifts for him that he picked out on the Internet. Aaron asks me to put him on the speakerphone so he can talk to his boy. He makes sure he always calls on the third of every month to say Happy one month older! ¿ to Gage. When it was time for a bigger car seat, Aaron researched and read reviews online and ordered it while in Iraq. He suggests foods he would like me to give Gage and even signed him up for a baby gym class in our area.
My husband also thanks me and acknowledges how much I do for our family. I never planned on raising our first child alone for the first year, and it gets hard and lonely. However, he is as active in Gage's life as he can be.
Aaron will return home just days after Gage's first birthday, and I have no doubt that he will make up for the time he missed. He has helped and supported me every step of the way and is truly the best new dad!
--submitted by Govanna Oliver, Lacey, WA
My husband, Todd, and I found out we were pregnant in August 2003. Everything went smoothly in the beginning. Todd was with me for every doctor's appointment, no matter what day or time.
In March 2004, we went in for a sonogram. It was then that we found out there were complications. I was a mess, but not Todd. He convinced me that no matter what, our baby was going to be perfect. A month later at 8:33 a.m., our son, Gehrig, was born. To us, he looked flawless. There was such a look of love in Todd's eyes.
The next day we found out Gehrig had more medical issues than we were first told about. I was inconsolable. Todd, of course, was stoic. He never left my side. He slept in a chair beside his son and me for the entire week we were in the hospital. And he never stopped telling me that I had created a miracle and that he loved me even more because of our son.
Since then it has been a rocky road. Our son has endured three surgeries before his first birthday. Through it all, Todd has been our savior. He is the first one up every morning, feeding Gehrig and getting him ready for daycare. Every day, even if he is running late, he drops his son off because he needs to have that one last kiss of the morning. He continues to come with us to every doctor's appointment and stays positive, even when I know he must be scared.
My husband has kept our family together through the most difficult times in our lives. He is one very special man, husband, and especially, dad.
--submitted by Jenny Noojibail-Brown, Helotes, TX
I may be slightly biased, but I believe my husband, Larry, deserves the title of Best New Dad. ¿ But don't ask him about it; he'll tell you that he's not doing anything amazing. Before we got pregnant, we struggled with infertility issues. Larry accompanied me to every doctor's appointment and worked late to make up for lost time. During our pregnancy, when I had debilitating sciatica, Larry cooked and cleaned. I knew he was amazing but I had no idea to what extent until our daughter, Sydney, was born.
Sydney had colic and gastrointestinal reflux disorder, and never slept. I was so depressed, but Larry never missed a beat. He would wake up in the middle of the night with her, and I would hear him singing silly songs to her. I would find him dozed off in the recliner with her tucked in the crook of his arm. I don't think he slept more than three hours a night for the first six months! Larry continues to take on most of the parenting when he is home. I am so amazed by him, but he refuses to take any credit, honestly wondering, Don't all dads do this? ¿
Now that we are expecting another baby soon, I am panicked. But Larry is beyond excited, saying he can't wait. Believe me, I know it all sounds unreal. But he's the very real, very wonderful dad to Sydney and her sibling-to-be.
--submitted by Sarah Katz, Ridgefield, CT