The other day as Husband and I were driving to work, I was thinking how lucky the Bean is to have a daddy who's so actively involved in her life, and who wants to be an equal partner with me in raising her. So I told him so.
"Growing up, my mom always told us how lucky we were that my dad didn't stick around," Husband answered thoughtfully. "I always thought that she was full of it. I felt like having a bad dad would have been better than having no dad. But now I wonder if having a bad dad as a role model would have made me less likely to be a good dad to the Bean."
I almost didn't hear what Husband was saying because my heart was too busy hurting for him.
Husband's mom raised six kids on her own. She had a lot of help from her brothers, thank goodness, but no father in the picture. Husband's dad left when he was just a year old... he never ever looked back. Much of the person that Husband is has been informed by his childhood as the son of a single mother.
I think he truly appreciates the valuable role that a father can play in the lives of his children because he grew up without one. His dedication to raising the Bean in a healthy and loving environment is beyond the pale.
He doesn't talk about it much, but I know that exploring who he wants to be as a father has been a painful reminder of the relationship he wishes he had with his own father. I hope that I can be a supportive partner and help him focus on the beautiful relationship he is actively cultivating with his daughter.