As I’ve said many times before, The Hubs is a big hairy scary biker man. He’s a combat veteran who rides a loud Harley. He knows how to blow things up. As my Bonus Dad likes to say, he’s one of those guys who always looks a little dirty. He works with his hands and always seems to have a black, petroleum based product on him somewhere. His chest hair grows up his neck then to his face where it continues to grow all the way up to his cheek bones. He literally has to shave his cheekbones every day or two to keep from looking like a homeless person. He’s big and strong and looks ferocious. He is NOT the type of man who you’d expect to be perfectly happy with a house almost completely full of girls.
When I told him that our one shot at having another son failed, he was perfectly happy with it. All he wanted to be sure of is that the Twins were healthy. He jokingly told me that we could just raise one of them to be more manly when I told him that I was sad about not having a baby boy. He and The Boy are super close, but his bond with his daughters is something that would probably make a stranger scratch their head. Here he is, this big burly man with a house full of girls.
In his own way, he does what he can to push away years of toxic masculinity engrained in the community we live in so that our son and daughters can learn to love themselves just the way they are. He helps them with their homework. He helps them pick out their clothes. He lets Crazy Eyes “fix” his hair and beard. He lets her paint his toenails. He makes sure that our son sees this and knows that men can be strong and tough and still wear nail polish or pink or jewelry. Together we try to teach the kids that they can be who they choose and not fit into anyone’s mold but their own.
You’d think after his years in athletics and the military that he’d be pushing for The Boy to play sports. He doesn’t. He encourages the kids to pursue their interests no matter what they are. He saw that Crazy Eyes loves the guitar so he’s learning how to play so they can play together. When he works on anything mechanical he encourages both kids to participate. He taught them how to pee outside because girls need to know how to do it too. He doesn’t make fun of The Boy for enjoying cooking or other stereotypically feminine activities. He doesn’t leave Crazy Eyes out of stereotypically masculine activities. I know he’ll do the same for our twins.
For The Hubs being a bad ass goes deeper than his looks. It shows in his actions. It shows in the way he encourages our children to face the world with bravery and individuality. He shows it by always telling them he loves them and not keeping that love bottled up for fear of not being manly. And maybe it shows a little bit in his freshly polished toes.