Two dads' Top 10 Things learned from their child

Father's Day is an American tradition more than a century old, and it's being embraced by some untraditional fathers. Adoptive fathers and life partners Mark Bromley and David Salie (he's our contributor Faith Salie's brother) can tell us all about that:


David Salie: Father's Day is usually spelled with an "apostrophe S." For us, it's "S apostrophe."

Mark Bromley: I'm "Daddy" to our daughter, Tallulah Gail.

Salie: And I'm "Papa." And today we'd like to share the Top Ten Things we've learned from our daughter in her first year:

Number 1: No matter what people say, there are in fact some skills you learn as dog owners that transfer to parenthood. For example, even if they can't talk, they understand a lot more than you think.

And walks, brushes, and picking up poop are how we say, "I love you."

Speaking of poop, that brings us to ...

Number 2: Potty humor is HILARIOUS! Make sure you always have someone in your life to help you out of "stinky pants."

Number 3: If YOU think you're having a good hair day, don't let anyone talk you out of it.

Number 4: A lot of people just want to smile at you. Let them. It's amazing how immediately grown-ups want to connect with little kids. Maybe grown-ups could smile at each other more often. (Peek-a-boo optional.)

Number 5: Blowing kisses can really help to get strangers on your side. Our girl especially made this one work on her 1st birthday when we went to court in hopes of hearing that she was finally ours, no take-backs.

The moment the judge walked into the courtroom, Tallulah, unprompted, started blowing kisses to the judge.

We suspect this kiss-blowing courtroom strategy works best when you are super cute and not accused of a crime.

Number 6: At least once a day, stop what you're doing and give yourself a round of applause. And while you're at it, don't be afraid to kiss yourself in the mirror.

Number 7: Entropy rules. Embrace it. It's a fact of life that things fall, break, and kitchen tables get REALLY sticky.

Number 8: When you do fall, ask yourself, if no one were watching, would it hurt? We can all take a lesson from a kid who keeps falling down and gets right back up when she thinks she's alone. Padded bottom or not, we're all probably tougher than we think we are.

Number 9: There's almost no situation that can't be made better by a cuddle, a song, or a nap. Adults should avail themselves of all three of these options far more often.

Number 10: That something so tiny and vulnerable can have such a disproportionate impact on the lives of the people around it is a sign of God.

On behalf of all the lucky dads like us, thank you, daughters and sons, for what you teach us about life, love, and ... good hair. Happy Father's Day!

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