Real Men Kiss Owies, by Lindsay Maddox

To The Man Who Holds My Heart and My Children:

I sit here, at the end of what I am certain is our most difficult parenting day to date, completely in love with the man you have become. When we met those ten and a half years ago, I knew there was something about you, something I wouldn’t be able to find in anyone else. Now, I know that is true. I’m not certain what exactly I did to deserve you, but I will tell you I do not take a single ounce of your love for granted.

My love, you are compassionate.

You don’t hesitate to scoop our babies up into your arms after they fall down and get hurt. You even sympathize with their devastation over a broken toy and tickle their sadness away. In the midst of my own tears, you quickly wrap me in a silent hug and let me bury my head into your chest until my grief has subsided. No matter how big or small the situation, you listen, you understand, and you care.

You are the most unselfish person I have ever met.

At the end of a long day at work, you come home, do the dishes, start the laundry, and still somehow find time for raucous Daddy Wrestlemania sessions with our kids. It makes me grin from ear-to-ear when I hear them giggling and squealing with glee, knowing that with each flerbert to the belly or tickle behind the knee, our kids’ self confidence is skyrocketing.

The kids and I are always top priority, even above yourself. Quite often, even when dinner is waiting for you when you get home, you don’t end up eating until after they are tucked in and the house is settled. Yet, I have never heard you complain.

You have come home early from work on days when I just simply need you there with me. You cared for me and completely took over all of the housework when I was dealing with awful morning sickness. You surprise me with coffee for no real reason at all, other than you love me. You run errands, take the kids out to the park to give me a break, and let me sleep in on the weekend, all at the expense of your own time and comfort. You, my love, are incredibly unselfish.

Best of all, you are hilarious.

You are unafraid of being yourself, and because of this, you are teaching our children to behave the same way. What an amazing gift you are instilling in our kids! I cannot tell you how many times I have dissolved into a fit of laughter over watching you play with the kids.

Say they want you to act like a monkey. Well, you don’t settle for a little lame armpit scratching and “Ooh-ooh-aaaaah!” Oh no. You go full out. You crouch down, knuckles on the ground and fully imitate a gorilla making the loudest “Oooh-ooooh-OOOHAAAAAAHAAAH!” you can. The kids are so entertained and so excited about their daddy, the monkey, they can hardly even muster the strength in their little legs to run away. Instead, they often run toward you, just to be caught in the Monkey Daddy tickle grasp.

I think the tee-shirt you proudly wear tells it all: Men Who Change Diapers Rule. You are proud of your Daddy-ness, and aren’t afraid to flaunt it.

Most guys would cower at the idea of doing “Mom stuff,” but you’re different. You don’t hesitate to put your newborn daughter in a wrap and wear her against your chest. One day, when she’s older and into girly things, I wouldn’t doubt that you’ll be right down on the floor with her, having a tea party, pretty pink cup in hand.

You aren’t afraid of these things, because you have an amazing sense of humor about yourself and about life. You know what is important, and you know that being a good dad makes you a great man.

And in the end, you are a manly man.

You love sports, time with the guys, and poker. You deal with the “guy stuff” of the house, like car maintenance and yard work. You always pick out action movies to watch and would be perfectly content eating hamburgers smothered in barbecue sauce every day for the rest of your life. You are my man, my protector, and my security.

Some may argue that a “real man” does the manly stuff around the house, all the dirty work and sweat labor. I would beg to differ, based on the real man I see in you. Real men kiss owies and sing lullabies. Real men change diapers and don’t flinch at being peed on by newborns. Real men love their kids and don’t hesitate to let them know at every possible opportunity.

You are as real as they get.

I could not ask for a better husband, father to my children, or best friend. I see the adoration in the eyes of our children when they greet you at the door after work squealing, “Daddy!” and smothering you in hugs and kisses. I see it throughout the day when you take just a little extra time to play cars or Hide and Seek. I see it at night, when you kiss them and tuck them into their beds. I pray that I am half the parent to our children that you are. I pray for half of your patience, your compassion, and your unselfishness.

But mostly, I am thankful. I am thankful for the man I fell in love with, the man you have become, and the man you will grow to be. We are all so lucky to have you in our lives. You have singlehandedly made this world a better place by being the amazing man you are.

So, this Father’s Day, though we don’t have money for fancy gifts and though our children are behaving more like wild beasts than our sweet little offspring, know that we appreciate what you do for us. Know that we love you. Most of all, know that there isn’t a single person in the entire world who could ever come close to filling your shoes.

Forever yours,
Your adoring wife

Lindsay Maddox is a freelance writer who seeks to find humor in parenting every day. In addition to nonfiction writing, she will have several fiction short stories published in upcoming Accentuate Anthologies. To learn more about Lindsay, check out her website and blog at

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8 Responses to “Real Men Kiss Owies, by Lindsay Maddox”

  1. Angel says:

    WOW! That was a wonderful man and y’all are truly blessed to have him in your lives. I’m happy for all of you.

  2. Amy says:

    you made me cry! all little kids need a daddy like him in their lives and all women need a husband like him… beautiful letter Lindsay.

  3. Randy Inman says:

    Sounds like a winner you better keep him!

  4. Maggie Ray says:

    Happy Father’s Day to one of the world’s great fathers. This letter is beautiful and is something I am sure he will cherish for many years to come.

  5. Kim says:

    Lindsay, this is just sooo perfect! It is wonderful to see the appreciation and love that goes both ways.

  6. Susan Sosbe says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Lindsay…this letter radiates a family filled with love.

  7. Linda St.Cyr says:

    I think you have made every mother with children drool over your husband. After reading this letter I think your husband must be a stud! This was a beautiful letter and it is wonderful to see a family so full of love.

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