I seriously feared Mae would be a teenager who didn't know how to use a spoon or straw.
Instead of being teased over acne or the uniqueness of her name - I thought my child would be the one sitting in the middle of the lunch room unable to sip on soup or scoop up mac and cheese because she couldn't use everyday cutlery.
Looking back, I now see how normal my irrational fears were - I'd never been around a baby learning fine motor skills.
But her daddy on the other hand - he was more confident.
Although he'd also never raised a baby, his natural teaching ability came out.
With patience and grace, he worked with her and taught her.
Eventually she got the hang of the spoon.
Mushy green beans and avocado weren't such a mess all over her face.
And then on a road trip to Florida, at a surf and turf restaurant somewhere in Alabama, he taught her how to use a straw.
I believe he used a hushpuppy.
I happened to be away to volunteer at Colon Camp with The Colon Club, and I was on my way to meet them at the airport when I got the texts.
There was my baby sitting on her daddy's lap sucking on a straw.
Praise the Lord - that's all I could think and feel.
Learning from Daddy
The spoon and straw are one of hundreds of stories that make Mikey an insanely amazing daddy. I am so blessed to parent alongside him.
She can sing songs from nearly every decade because of him - and tell you the artist singing them.
She loves musicals and "stage shows" because he introduced them to her early on.
She loves teams and squads and characters that are intertwined because that's a desire of his heart overflowing onto her.
I 100% credit him for her vivid imagination - most nights up until age 5 or so, the two of them would lie in her bed and read long chapter books together before she went to sleep.
He taught her how to be still and listen to the story - how to use her mind when there were no pictures.
I have no doubt this ability will play into love, faith and life-long learning the rest of her days.
In celebration of Father's Day, I want to honor Mikey.
I'm so grateful to be married to, friends with, and parenting alongside one of the best.
He's done what all amazing fathers do - he's sparked life, cast vision and sacrificially given to another human being.
He's poured himself out so a little girl can grow up feeling whole; it gives me tears when I realize thanks to him, she will never know life without a daddy.
He's adopted her and raised her.
He's shown her the truest meaning of love.