There was a moment after the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship game where someone — Roger Goodell, some press guy, I don’t know — held the microphone out to Travis Kelce for comment and instead of saying something insightful he just scream-sang “You’ve got to fight, for your right, to parrrrrrtayyyyy!” to hilarious effect. The camera panned to Kelce’s girlfriend Taylor Swift who gave this dreamy, Oh my God, I’m in love with an idiot look and then closed her eyes and shook her head. And I can speak with authority on this look because as a fellow woman in love with a Golden Retriever boyfriend (who is now my husband), I’m here to tell you, Taylor: that Golden Retriever man is going to make the very best dad one day.
No pressure, of course. I’m just saying — get used to that look. You’re going to give it so many times, and it’s going to be the maddening joy of your life. Golden Retriever husbands are known for being enthusiastic, affectionate, and unafraid to be their true authentic selves at any moment. And, sometimes, that means their authentic self is going to make you shake your head and laugh — especially when you have babies. Because Golden Retriever husbands become Golden Retriever dads who have millions of corny jokes and will dress up on Halloween to match their kids and will do belly flops off the neighborhood diving board in front of 50 people just to make you laugh.
A Golden Retriever husband — who gets you a glass of water every time you ask, who holds your hand in public, who is delighted by the sight of you at a party — becomes a Golden Retriever dad who changes every diaper, who packs school lunches, who runs out at 11 p.m. to get candy from Walgreens because his daughter left glitter out for the fairies. He will get up every time you poke him in the ribs because one of the kids is crying. He will sit on the floor for tea parties, he will coach the soccer team, he will change words when he’s reading their picture books to make them more inclusive.
He will wear friendship bracelets with them, he will ask them how he can helpful instead of assuming, he will study with them over and over until they are fully confident before taking a test. He will go with you to Target (only if you want!) and he won’t moan or complain about how long you’re taking on the Hearth and Hand aisle. He’ll go wait in line at Starbucks for you, and if you ask him to take the kids home so you can finish shopping alone, he’ll say OK and grab them all ice creams on the way.
Sometimes he’ll drive you crazy because he really doesn’t have an opinion on something you desperately want him to care about. Sometimes he’ll just say, “Sounds good, babe” to everything, but only because it really does sound good to him. Sometimes he’ll tell you to stop worrying so much and to just relax and you’ll become blind with rage because Oh my god that’s so easy for you to just not worry, but then you’ll do what he suggests and realize you do feel better.
The Golden Retriever dad may not be very handy and maybe he also likes a long afternoon nap and doesn’t really think about cleaning the house. But he does find a way to quote a lot of Austin Powers in the middle of tough parenting moments, and he will look at you like you’re an absolute goddess after you birth his babies, and he will brush his daughters’ hair and let his sons wear glittery fairy wings and he will always be your teammate. And really, in parenthood, that’s the part that matters most of all.