You are important.
As your children: We listen for your footsteps at the door. We save up good news to spill at your smiling face. We count on you to be big. We are sure you will help us. We come to you for your physicality, either a body consuming hug or a frantic, laugh-til-you-pee tickle session. We want to please you and make you proud. We fall in love with you over and over again, as you hold our little hand in yours and again later, as you hold your grandchildren's little hands. We will never know a man who shines like you do.
As your women: We too listen for your footsteps at the door. We save up good news to whisper into your ear. We count on you to be big in spirit. We are sure you will help us. We send our children to you for the physicality they crave but that our mama muscles cannot provide. We want to please you, be pleased by you, make you proud, and be proud of you. We fall in love with you over and over again, as you cradle our newborn's wrinkly hand, and hopefully again later, as you snuggle our wrinkly hands. We will never find a man who shines like you do.
The papas in our lives are like bookends. One brings us up, gives us our first understanding of masculine love, and forever forms our perception of who we are as women. Later, unconsciously, we use that template from our childhood and hold it up against every beau that waits for us on our doorstep. One of those suitors becomes the complimentary bookend, and we give him the greatest possible honor, fathering our children, hoping against hope that he will do that honor justice.
And time and time again, you do.