Thank you for your letter. I laughed and nodded along as I read it, and I shared it with all the rest of my parent friends.
Thank you for babysitting! I understand those 3 hours seem like an eternity of suffering; the 3 hours of quiet you gave my wife and I were an eternity of bliss!
Thank you for understanding when we have to leave your party early to get our children home to bed.
Thank you for letting us decide what to do on the nights we have a babysitter!
Thank you for letting us take 3x as long to do everything.
Thank you for always coming to our house for dinner because it's child-proof.
Thank you for going out of your way to meet at a time and place that works around nap-time.
Thank you for talking to and playing with our kids when they are with us.
Thank you for holding our kid while we clean up the embarrassing mess they left at the restaurant.
Thank you for bringing them a new book for story-time.
Thank you for re-scheduling the work meeting because my kid is sick.
Thank you for taking over so many tasks for our social group.
Thank you for being the one to call me instead of waiting for me to call you.
And I'm sorry.
Sorry I don't answer your text messages.
Sorry I rarely ever go out anymore.
Sorry I forgot your birthday/graduation/other-special-occasion.
Sorry for being so up-tight about germs.
Sorry for having to stop our conversation abruptly to chase down my kid.
Sorry for being so chaotic.
Sorry for being jealous and envious of your frequent dinner dates, your vacations, your boredom, or that awesome open source project you built in your free time. (What's that?!)
But while I was writing this letter - which took a whole week, one or both of my daughters have:
said "Dada, I need a hug,"
asked to be held countless times,
giggled uncontrollably as I tickled her,
run up and down our hallway continuously for 10 minutes to tackle me,
been "Beast", "Belle," "Emily," "Nemo," "Bruce," or a dozen other characters,
hugged me with "legs and everything" when I asked,
squealed with delight as she rolled a bowling ball straight into a gutter,
learned to swim back to the edge of the pool by herself,
fallen asleep in my arms while I sing to her,
called out for me when thunder woke her up at night.
Thank you for sticking with me. I'm sorry our friendship has stretched so much, but I hope we'll have great times watching these two new little friends grow up with us.