I spent a fair amount of time this morning, scrolling through my iPhone photos, trying to find a good one to post of Tim in honor of Father’s Day.  I have some of us as a family – at parties and on trips, and some of he and I on dates, or at concerts. But those were just said – Hey, here we are! They were fine, but they didn’t really tell a story about what I like most about Tim as a father. Then I came across some pictures of us at some of this year’s protest marches, including the 2ndAnnual Women’s March and the March for our Lives after the Parkland shootings. Those were better, because it’s one of the things I most appreciate about Tim as a father – the example he has set for our kids that part of being an adult is a willingness to stay open, learn and advocate for others.

But this morning, Tim had a funny request. He wanted to go see the new Mr. Rodgers’ documentary called, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I didn’t see that request coming, but why not? All our kids were working, so we had a couple hours to kill. I highly recommend the film, but there was one moment in particular that brought me to tears.  I won’t give it away, but Mr. Rodgers sings one of his classic songs, “It’s You I Like” with a guest on the show. If you don’t remember, it goes like this and you can listen to him and sing along here.

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you.
It’s you I like.


That’s it, I thought.

That’s why Tim is such a good father. He makes it clear to each of our very different children that he likes them as they are. They don’t have to be perfect; they don’t have to change; they don’t have to be shaped or molded or directed by him. It’s not that he doesn’t parent them, or help them make good decisions, but first and foremost, I think they hear the message, “It’s you I like.” I think that makes him a pretty good father.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a dad like that, but I hope you do, or did and that it has helped you become the kind of person, who can share affirmation like that with the people you love. I know I did, which is probably part of the reason I married Tim. From the moment we met, I never doubted that, “It’s you I like, the way down deep inside you, not the things that hide you.”

Happy Father’s Day to the man who raised me and the man I’m raising a family with. Don’t ever doubt that “it’s you I like.”

Team Kirks before and after Tim tells a joke 



Tim and Finn got up early this Father’s Day morning and headed out to do some father-son bonding, which allowed us girls to do our favorite things. Keara slept; Molly watched Friends and Hawaii Five-O; I cleaned.  Now, cleaning isn’t my very favorite thing, but having a clean house is, so it ultimately worked out. It’s eleven a.m. and I’m done, except for some piles of laundry sitting on the garage floor.

I also had a chance to read an article about the inception of Father’s Day and what a rough road it faced to garner acceptance. The first Father’s Day occurred in 1908, the same year as Mother’s Day, but unlike Mother’s Day, it was decades before it was made official by Congress. Honoring father’s was considered a joke – in part because the men in charge seemed to think it was “sissy” to be thanked and honored by women and children. The second reason so many people resisted the holiday  was the cultural image and expectations we had of fathers. For millennia, until the last half century, fathers were thought of as “providers”  (first of sperm, then of sustenance) and little else. If a father made sure their offspring didn’t die, then they had done their job. It was the mothers who mattered.

Well, a lot has changed in the last fifty years. We know fathers matter now. The statistics have shown how much better kids with present, active, engaged fathers perform – scholastically, socially, psychologically, emotionally. It doesn’t mean kids without dads are doomed; it just means the kids who have them are privileged in some pretty significant ways. I know I was and I know Tim wasn’t.

But our kids have the privilege of being raised by Tim, who has turned out to be a pretty amazing dad. While most young men are driven at that time in their life by monetary goals and career success, Tim was driven by one thing: he wanted to be a good husband and a present father. As twenty-year-olds, when we dreamed about our life together, it was always about how we could be there for our kids’ soccer practices and sick days, how we could take time off to spend to spend at the beach, or go to the mountains, how we could show up for each other, each and every day.

Tim was a great provider – of both sperm and sustenance – but he provides so much more. He provides humor and a calming influence; he provides the voice of reason and the safety regulations; he provides theLove and pride, encouragement and wisdom we need to become all we are meant to be. Having a good father in the house is good for me too.

For all those men out there, who provide so much more than the basics, thank you. This is your day.

And to my own father, thanks for providing so much more.

Wounderful Image-1
Paul C. Bush has always provided my siblings and me with a safe place to call home. 


The Lad and his Dad
The Lad and his Dad

Ideally, a Father’s Day post would have gone up yesterday, but it wasn’t until I spent the day celebrating the father of my children that I really knew what I wanted to say. It’s not that I didn’t know he was a great dad; it’s just that sometimes I forget exactly why we are so lucky to have him in our lives. Sometimes the beauty of a thing gets lost in the everydayness of it all.

Through death and divorce, Tim grew up with little “fathering,” so when we had our own kids, he was a unsure about his abilities in that area. Very little had been imprinted on him about what it meant to be a “dad,” so for better or worse, he made most of it up as he went along. Luckily, he’s great at improv.

Yesterday, as we spent time together as a family and the kids took turns saying a few words about what they appreciate about Tim as a dad, I realized how they centered on the same themes.

“You are always there for me.”


“I can talk to you about anything.”


“You make me feel better when I’m sad.”


“You are my best friend.”


I know that the loss of a father affects a child in deep ways and I think, in Tim, many of them remain unhealed and always will. However, out of the absence, Tim has found deep presence. He has found a way to become the man he wished he had been raised by.

He is thoughtful, intentional and gentle, funny, playful and smart, but more than anything, he is present – for practices and games, dinners and bedtimes. He is there for basketball out front and swimming in the back, Saturdays at the beach and Sundays at church. He is there for late night conversations and early morning surf sessions. Success to him will never be about having the most money, but spending the most time. Through experience, he knows that every day is precious, that nothing is guaranteed, and that these relationships are the only things that really matter.

As adults, I think we have to both overcome and live up to the parenting we received. This is true if we ever have children of our own or not. What our parents did well, as mothers, fathers, or human beings, we want to emulate. Where they failed, we have to forgive and if at all possible, do better. It’s the only way we will be free and the only hope we have for making this world a better place.