A few weeks ago, we stood in the hallway of a hotel. Wally IV was spoon-feeding, patiently, spoonful after spoonful of ice cream. This lasted 15 minutes or so. It was 10:30 at night. And the ice cream tasted amazing. To me. He was spoon feeding me.

That’s right. It had been a long day for Genevieve at a hotel. Wally Ben had the time of his life that day, running around and playing with his cousin Grady, exploring the hotel and swimming with his dad. By the end of the day after rounds and rounds of exploring the hotel, he and Grady had all the landmarks worked out: “Now we go over the ‘bridge’, and then we ride the elevator.” I had spent the day with Vivi in the indoor pool room. I realized too late—around 8 pm, that she was very overstimulated from all the noise, resulting in 15 minute naps all day and a very overtired baby.

So overtired she couldn’t sleep. So I rocked her and rocked her. Then I went to the hallway, where it was quieter and rocked her some more. I had enjoyed the day, until around 9 pm, when I had been standing and rocking her for 2 hours straight without a break and without any indication that my stiff backed little baby was going to relax anytime soon.

Wally IV had worked hard all day to be sure Wally Ben was having the best time, and he certainly was. Then bedtime. Then he found me in the hallway, and I was mad. So mad, I’m surprised he found his way through the hallway that was certainly full of the steam that was blowing from my ears. I understood, with clarity, the Amazon best-selling good night book, “Go the f*$# to sleep!”

This encounter could have ended badly. Wally assessed the scene as you’re told to do when you learn CPR: First and foremost, look around. If all is clear, say, “The scene is safe.” (When you are in CPR class and they make you act this out, you feel like a complete idiot.) But in this case, the scene was not. Remember, the anger. Remember, the steam. And yet he approached. And his question saved my sanity. I kid you not, I would be down the road at the mental health center, if he had not asked this question: “What do you need?”

Sound machine. Pacifier. Nook. He came back with these three things. Then, 5 minutes later returned, unprompted, with ice cream. And as I rocked the mini-monster, he fed me. And the world improved, immensely.

Only a good husband could have handled that situation so gracefully. And only a good dad could attend to one kid all day, then approach that scene and enter despite the danger. Only a good dad would know how to ask the perfect question at the perfect time.

I firmly believe that behind every sane mom is a good dad. And behind almost every good kid is a good dad. In our case, a dad who makes the evening from 5:30-bedtime fun, smooth, and often exciting. A dad who very often makes dinner and cleans up after a long day of work. A dad who fills the time with games Wally Ben has dubbed double kicks, dump truck, “get off the bed”, flashlights.

I am lucky. Genevieve and Wally are lucky. Happy Father’s Day, to the best dad, husband, teammate, partner, and friend a mom could ask for!

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