Friday, June 15, 2012

A Father's Day Note

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, and recently introduced (now that we all have Facebook), weeks devoted to brothers, sisters, cousins, godparents, diseases, cures, conditions…..and the list goes on. There is now a holiday or “holiweek” for every title or diagnosis. My feeling is that holidays, even phony Hallmark ones such as these still deserve special attention. If you are in fact one of the lucky ones to have someone special in your life that fits into any one of these titles, groups, or categories, then it is nice to dedicate a time or day to celebrate that connection by letting them know how much they count in your own personal equation of what makes us happy to be who we are today.

Becoming a parent adds volume to these occasions by driving us to want to thank many people for their influences and support, and for also wanting them to be a part of our child’s life. Nothing really prepares us for the emotions we face or the changes that happen.  When preparing for parenthood, many of us buy books, scour the internet, watch a dozen and a half videos, take birthing classes, and consult others.  I am very much a preparer and I want to know everything. I think that sometimes when we have someone growing inside of us, we tend to be selfish in our thoughts, our decisions, and our plans all the way down to what we will be having for dinner. Some call it hormones. I call it, “I’m pregnant, so I have a pass”. We sometimes forget that we have a partner in all of this. All the while we are being our “new expectant mom” selves living our rollercoaster ride of emotions and physical changes, we at times forget there is also a new expectant dad wondering if your newly formed Flintstone feet will ever deflate? We often question, is he just being a nervous sideline spectator? Is he even excited? Will he still think I’m pretty when I’m as big as a boat, spread eagle on a table praying not to poop?

For me, when it came time to meet our new addition, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him. What I definitely didn’t expect was to experience something so genuine and innocent. No one had prepared me for that moment and I had never even thought to ask. What I witnessed was a man in front of me. An adult turned father. A true companion and partner. I saw that he was just as nervous, just as excited, and cried just as many tears. He was actually listening to me and to the doctor and at that moment, no one else existed in the room but me and this baby. He had a look of pure determination. He became our doctor’s second hand man and our nurse’s new best friend. The past nine months had consisted of countless fleeting moments of me wanting to clock him over the head. All that had suddenly disappeared. I saw a new dad eager to meet his match. I watched my husband, in a flicker of a moment, fall in love with something so much greater than us before my very eyes. It was an instantaneous bond that was untouchable and it was beautiful. I physically felt my heart expand in my chest. That day we became a family and I saw what it was like to give birth to love. That day, I not only became a mother, but I watched my husband become a father.

Happy Father’s Day.

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