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#GirlDad Shares Story of Fatherhood

By Thomas Cloutier, Chief Marketing Officer

On April 25, 2017, my world changed forever.

I had my life planned out since the minute I looked at Jessica on her first day at college. I was going to marry her, we were going to get fun jobs, we’d get a dog, buy a home, and we would have numerous young male offspring that watch football with dad, and live happily ever after. This plan has been derailed numerous times. For starters, Jessica didn’t think I was a viable candidate for marriage for a long time. I thought she was missing out at the time, but after some self-reflection many years later, I can see where she was coming from. She gave me a chance at our first date of a matinee movie and happy hour. After five years of dating (10 years of being friends), we set a date for our wedding and haven’t looked back since.

Jessica always wanted a daughter and per usual she got her way. I finally got my chance to hold Camille after 36 hours of labor. My first thought was, “Whatever you do, don’t drop this little angel.” After lots of tears and emotions, I sat there the rest of the night thinking about what all I needed to do to ensure she has a great life.

Camille is now seven. She walks, talks, and looks like her momma. She is the kindest little human I have ever met. We dance, draw, color, watch movies, she’s my sous chef, and we even give momma a hard time together. She is curious, creative, and has a heart that I am not sure how she fits it in her little body.

Jessica told me she didn’t want more kids, but after a Seattle snowstorm and being stuck with me in the house for a week, she was pregnant again. This time my sweet little Vivienne joined the team. She is my little four-year old monster. She is the happiest kid in the world. Vivi is adorable, noisy, and fearless. Always curious, pretends to read, sings as loud as she can, and follows her “sissy” everywhere.

Honestly, I thought this would be a lot easier. I watched other parents over the years and thought “How hard could this be?” Well I was wrong. It is hard. Keeping my two little buddies upright, bathed, clothed, fed, paid for, and entertained is a full-time job. Sometimes there is no sleep. We even have quite a few visits to “time-out” for not listening and sassing dad. Luckily, I have the best partner in crime in Jessica. We often laugh and say, “What did we do with all of our time before the kids?”

My three girls are the best thing that has ever happened to me. They make life worth it. Luckily, coming home to Avamere a couple years ago allowed me to be home most nights. Truly I don’t want to miss a thing. I can’t wait to see them continue to grow, learn, and navigate this crazy world. I plan to have a front row seat for it all.

I am a proud #girldad. To all the other father’s out there – cheers to you!

Happy Father’s Day,

Thomas Cloutier

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