I had planned to do a Father’s Day post, but as we all know, I was mightily distracted by dieting and weightloss, or lack thereof. So instead, I’m taking the time today to reflect on fathers and fathering and fatherhood…
My husband has come a long way. He has gone from not wanting kids to….well, not wanting any more kids but protesting less and less about this fact. He now says he’ll give me as many as will make me happy. He has gone from being afraid to touch and hold such a fragile, tiny being to being the Tickle Monster, the Airplane Flyer, and the Toddler Tosser. He has gone from sleeping through the night despite a newborn who needs to feed every two hours to letting her sleep on his chest as long as needed
to being the only one whom she’ll allow to put her to bed at night. My Honey has gone from being afraid of a spray of poop or a trickle of pee that each diaper change holds to being the first to change our Cupcake’s diaper when she is messy, in order to save her from another ugly diaper rash. And he has gone from lamenting his old life, his free time, our time together as just a couple, to embracing our new life and the time he gets with the daughter he loves so much. It took him a while to bond with Cupcake (about two months post-delivery…and that’s something NONE of the pregnancy and parenting books warn you about!), but once he did, there was no looking back. He was and is fully, totally, utterly in love with the little girl who calls him “daaaad” and crawls into his lap for a mega cartoon marathon. He has surrendered and he is hers, completely.
When I conceived our little Teddy Graham, I wondered if things would be different for my Honey and his new child. If they would bond faster, perhaps even before birth, and if maybe he would fall in love at first sight for this second go-around. Sadly, we never had the chance to find out. But I do know this: on that day of our first and last ultrasound, the day “no heartbeat” confirmed what I already knew, he cried. That was more than I ever expected. I’m not sure if the tears were for me or for our lost baby, but it hardly matters. He felt the loss too. Not in the same way as me, not as deep or as long, but he still felt it. And he still talks about The Baby Who Almost Was every now and then, by name, and helps me to light a candle for him every night. I like to think, in some small way, he loves and misses his second child, too.
I would also like to say this: This week, of all weeks, I think of you ladies, the few who read this, and of your men and their quest for fatherhood, whether it is to become a daddy for the first time, the second, or more. I hope that each of you will get your chance to see them blossom from the burping, beer-drinking, kid-in-a-man’s-body to being the playful, tender, melting, man-wrapped-around-the-tiniest-finger. Or something like that. And I pray that by this time next year, each of your men will be celebrating Father’s Day as the father of a new baby, or one on the way. That is my fervent hope and prayer for all of you.