My husband is cool, quiet, and private.
Not a teddy bear. Not a softie.
From the moment I met him, I was swept up in all the things that stole my breath—his face, his mind, his voice.
But the tears that filled his eyes the first time he told me that he loved me . . . it is how I knew he had to be mine.
I remember my grade eight graduation and how I felt as I left the stage and saw my dad, camera in hand, tears streaming down his face. I was bewildered by those tears and moved by how much worth I felt in seeing them.
In the years my husband and I have spent together, I've learned to seek out his tear-filled eyes when I need them to mirror my own.
And I know in moments of loss, of pride, of joy, of sorrow—across sleeping children or linked hands—they'll be waiting to meet mine.
They find me, also, when I least expect them.
He didn't cry when he proposed or on our wedding day, but the tears were there on our first new year's eve, as he whispered the words, "This is the first time I've started a year with someone I love."
They come when he talks about his work. They come when he watches our daughters dance, because he wishes his mom could see them too. They come when we say goodbye to our pets. They come when we fight and he's sorry for the things we said. They come when our baby puts her hands on his cheeks and says, "Night, night Dada," before he puts her to bed.
I hope our children are watching. I think they are. I've seen them light up with worth.
For me, the tears are never a sign of weakness. Instead, they are a testament to the strength of a husband and father who carries the joy and pain of the people he loves.
Of all his phenomenal attributes, it's his tender heart I most want my children to inherit and embrace for themselves.
And I want him to know I could never begin to describe the gratitude I feel when I look into his eyes and see how much we matter.