A man becomes a father in the blink of an eye.
Women have nine months of growing, kicking, doctor or midwife visits, nausea and cravings… but men can really only nod, smile, sympathize and hold our hands. That is, until a screaming, goopy, naked bundle of human comes flopping into this world – and suddenly, the man is a father.
The little boy that made my husband a daddy, May 4th 2010:
I often wonder what goes through his mind in those moments as the mother of his child gives birth. Speaking from experience, I can say that a woman is focused on one thing and one thing only – GET. IT. OUT. But a man is more of a spectator, an observer, and likely has a far better recollection of the event than we as mothers do. I know that I often still ask my husband to recollect, or “tell me the story” if you will, of our children’s births. His perspective is so different than my own! But I love to hear his take on what it was like to watch his baby being born – and in my husband’s case, delivering it!
With my older daughter fast asleep at her dad’s, my husband and I became parents together for the first time:
It’s a truly beautiful thing watching the man that you love become a father. Suddenly those strong hands that change a tire or shovel the driveway are SO delicately holding the softest, tiniest being in the world. Their eyes glaze over, their smile consumes them and they stare with such wonder at this small human that they helped create.
Look at the expression on the new daddy! Love at first sight…
When my son was born, I sensed that my husband was having a “Cast Away” moment as he held his little man proudly in his arms… pretty sure that he had to refrain from holding him up over his head and yelling, “I… HAVE MADE BABY!!”… but to be honest, I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had!
Father, in awe of his new son:
When we found out that our second child was going to be a girl, my husband didn’t quite know what to do. Having a nine year old daughter from a past relationship, I have witnessed firsthand the sweet bond between a daddy and his baby girl, but my husband came into our lives when she was three, and just didn’t know what to do with himself when it came to his own bundle of pink. But ohhhhhh how quickly he melted.
This photo looks rather familiar, doesn’t it? Falling in love all over again…
I definitely fell in love with him a little more watching him with our son, but I fell in love with him all OVER again watching him with our daughter. When the man that you love is reduced to goofy smiles and baby talk by a chubby little angel with ringlets, well… who can resist that? Daddy’s little girl has brought him to his knees, and I can’t help but say “I told you so!” once in a while. It’s just so darn adorable to witness.
“Who is this mysterious creature?”
The love that he has for his children – including my nine year old daughter – is one of the things that makes me want to wake up next to him every day, and I hope he knows how lucky we all are to have him in our lives. He has helped me bring two amazing children into this world, and he is teaching them what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.
As the years pass, our children will grow and our challenges will change. Right now we are dealing with dirty diapers and sleepless nights, but in time it will be hormones and curfews… exams and part time jobs… career choices and wedding planning… and then an empty nest, and grandchildren. It all seems so far off, but I know that it will pass by more quickly than we can ever imagine. Even now, we look at photos from the last few years, and cannot believe how our children have grown.
We thought we had our hands full back in 2010 when our son was born…
… and then number three came along in 2012!
We have such a small amount of time as parents to impart all the lessons and wisdom that our kids need before they are catapulted out into the big wide world on their own.
Just a few short years to raise a son who is hardworking, honest, strong in character and respectful of women, and a daughter who is independent, kind, ambitious and smart enough to know what kind of man to eventually choose – should that be her path.
A father has the difficult job of teaching his children everything that he can, while still letting them fail sometimes so that they can learn to pick themselves up and try again. He needs to protect them, but also expose them to the world so that they can learn what to embrace and what to avoid. He needs to find the balance between loving and letting go, and that’s no easy task.
No man can possibly know what lies ahead when he watches his baby enter the world. Before he lives through that moment he cannot possibly know the lengths to which his heart can expand, the fear, the sense of responsibility, the weight of the life that he now holds. My husband watched in awe as the life of his child began, and I watched in awe as his life as a father began. I’m not sure I can think of anything more beautiful to share with someone, and I am proud to have shared it with him.
His journey as a father has just begun… there will be times ahead when each of our children will need their dad, and I know he will be there for them. Heartbreak, fights at school, a bad grade, a fork in the road… their morals will be challenged, and their limits – and ours – will be tested. They will question themselves, and the world they live in. They will need a strong hand, and other times a soft heart. I know that they have a father who will rise to every occasion, and help them become who they are meant to be, and live their lives to the fullest!
Party of five, 2013
Happy Father’s Day, Alex – and to all the wonderful dads out there – we are so grateful for you!