Showing Up by Noreen Heffernan


When I look back, I see my husband holding up our 4 week old baby and her pooping everywhere, on his arms, on his shirt, and all over the bassinette. I remember laughing so hard through sleep-deprived tears and thinking, it is official. He’s a dad.

I remember watching him run down the street toward me, pushing the stroller with a screaming baby inside, wondering what to do?! Take her out, I thought. “It never goes as planned,” I told him.

And it doesn’t. But, you know what, he continues to show up with a smile and do the work.

Now, I see him turn off his alarm at 4:45 am and get out of bed. He puts in long days and then gets home and puts his kids to bed, our kids. He spends time reading books and giving baths. He is so tired but he knows this is his only time with his kids, so he works through his sleepy eyes and shows up for them with a smile, every day. He shows up for me. He shows up for them. He always shows up and he always does the work. He always chooses us. To me, that is a real dad; someone who continues to do the work even when he is tired, when he works hard, when he doesn’t have a minute to himself. My husband; he shows up. He is a phenomenal father. He is a happy father who spends time teaching his girls. I think he learned from the best, his dad.

I think about all the dads out there…

I see a dad at a barbeque with his 3 kids while his wife works on her final project for school. He changes diapers, cuts up food, and makes sure everyone is well- taken care of every step of the way. I see him at the town pool the next day, following his 1 year old daughter around the pool, while watching his 3 and 5 year old children. I get a warm feeling inside, seeing a man who truly does man up.

I see a grandpa holding his granddaughters, one in each arm. He never sits down. If they want him, he puts down whatever he is doing to play with them. He tickles and hugs. He spins and dances. He puts in the time, tenfold…to all of us. My dad, an extraordinary dad and grandpa.

I see a random dad on a random day running around the playground, chasing his children. They are laughing and squealing at the top of their lungs. So much fun. I think to myself, that is what dads are for. They are so good at playing, chasing, and making their kids belly laugh, that special belly laugh. Sometimes I believe it is reserved just for their dads.

These dads: the dads that man up, show up, make their kids laugh, read with them, play with them, provide for their family, take the time, do the work; they deserve to be recognized. There is nobody more generous than them.

Let us not forget that.

Happy Father’s Day to all the extraordinary dads out there who show up and do the work with a smile. We love you. Thank you!

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”

~Author Unknown

~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies


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