One of the greatest joys of my life has been watching my husband become a daddy. I almost typed “grow into the roll of daddy,” but the fact is that he seemed to naturally assume the role. Oh sure – when the news of the surprise pregnancy hit us, he was one reluctant man. He laid on the couch as if in a trance, muttering things like, “How could this happen?” (even though I’m pretty sure he really knew the “how”), and walked around for 2 weeks as if in a daze. When our little girl was born though, I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was a once-in-a-lifetime look of pure joy, tenderness, love and true happiness. His role of Daddy had begun, and the 37 years of life before that had prepared him well. Every day I am truly amazed at his patience and tenderness with her.
He is an active dad in every way and has been from day one. He’s shared in the heartache of her first 3 months in the NICU, swaddled her, diapered her (poopy ones too), taken shifts in the night (including all-nighters when she had pneumonia and was struggling to breath), cleaned up puke, given baths, helped with laundry, struggled with feeding issues, tried to do pigtails with fingers too large to cooperate, given medicine, doled out discipline, taken time off work for doctor appointments and to give me some free time, and so many, many more things. He’s been right there beside me every step of the way. He has never complained. And his little girl adores her daddy. He plays with her in ways that I never do, he “hovers” less and sets her “free” more, and I see how good this is for her. I used to hate that he didn’t do things the way I do. Now I realize that his way is just different – not “wrong” – and in fact, sometimes his way is brilliant. I’m looking forward to watching the wonder of fatherhood unfold over the coming years. I have never loved or respected this man, my best friend, more than I do now, as I share the joys and frustrations of parenthood with him. Happy Father’s Day to all the other fathers out there putting their hearts and energies into all that they do. Share some love with the fathers in your life and take a moment to truly appreciate the importance of daddies.
To my own dad: I’m sure I can never fathom the sacrifices you made for me, BUT, I have a better idea now than I ever had before. Thanks for all your love, support and wisdom through the years. Love you!
Here’s a great link that explores why dads are, in fact, as essential as moms (in case you had any doubts).