Remember the night we sat at Durban beach and watched the waves crash? 9 years ago. I knew nothing about you. I told you this couldn’t work. You told me it could.
We spent so much time dreaming. Travelling. Learning each other’s culture. Finding a path where we weren’t sure there was one. Having a traditional Zulu wedding. Saying we wanted babies.
We had no idea what babies involved. I didn’t realise that becoming a mother would change the person that I am. That you would become a new person too. That we’d even get a new names – Mummy and Daddy. That our marriage would change when we became parents. That it would no longer be all about us.
Of course, these things are obvious, so it’s not that we didn’t know. But it was impossible to envisage what marriage and life would look like with babies in tow. I didn’t know the father you would become.
So given that I really had no idea, I am immensely grateful that you turned out to shine as a dad. You really do shine, it comes naturally to you. It’s like you were born to do this.
You dance with our toddler in the kitchen, you teach her new words, you settle our baby to sleep, and get up in the middle of the night. Again. You protect our baby when they bath together. You let our toddler pull you to the park and you go down the slide together. Nothing melts my heart more.
You might not realise, but when you love our kids you are actually loving me.
You wrote a song for each of our daughters when they were born. I love that you did that. I love that as you dress our toddler you teach her the name of each body part. In Zulu. That’s important for her.
I love that when everything seems a bit out of control you get home from work. And you tidy up. And calm our toddler down. And get her to bed. And then you come and hold the baby. Because she always wants to be held at night.
I have to share you now. And sometimes that’s hard for me. Sometimes I miss the days we had the weekends to ourselves. But most of the time I don’t. Because yes, we date less, but life has so much more laughter now. And cuddles. There’s definitely more cuddles.
On the topic of dates – I didn’t realise that we would ‘date’ by taking our kids to a play café, so they’d be distracted and we can talk.
I didn’t realise that when we became parents I would need you so much more. You have so much more responsibility now. And so do I. Thank you for taking this responsibility seriously.
I know it is hard for you that you don’t have time for the things you used to. That your passions have had to take second place. Because you have put us first. And that is the right thing. But that is a hard thing. I want you to know that I see that. And that these years of very small children are not forever.
Beyond all else, I love how you show up. For me. For our girls. When we are on top of the world. And when we are falling apart. I never doubt that you will be there. I never doubt that you will put us first. Do you know how safe that makes me feel?
I want to encourage you. The things you do matter. The little things, that few people see except me. Through the little things our girls are learning that they matter. That family matters. That you will always make time for them. That love involves time. And commitment. They won’t realise it for many years to come, but you are teaching them how to love.
I knew that becoming a mum would bring a new love to my life. I expected that. But I didn’t expect the new love it would bring me for you.
Sometimes (almost all of the time) I’m distracted, and tired, and the kids take all my focus and all my energy, and you get the last of me, instead of the best of me. I’m sorry for that.
But, in the mess and the craziness, I want you to know that I loved you first. That you’re still my favourite. That I see you. And my love for you grows. And I don’t always say it, but I know that in our family you are everything. Everything to our kids. And everything to me.