Ah, the joys of being a father.
There was a time when I thought this the day would never come. To express myself without going too deeply, there has been too many struggles and obstacles in the way for both me and my wife to count. Yet, somehow we overcame, and here we are with our beautiful daughter of two going on three.
I think the first year of her life, I still couldn’t fathom that I really had a daughter. It was amazing and still dream- like to me. So much so that maybe I missed that connection. Then one day it clicked, and everything seemed so much brighter, clearer, more joyous. Life took on new meaning.
I grew up in a home where eventually my mother and my father would split. I lived with my father for several years. Then for another 6 years with my mother. Traumatic? Yes. But it made me who I am today. The good and the bad. More good than bad, I hope.
I always wondered what my time as a father would be like. I promised myself, as much of us often do, that my children would never struggle or want for anything. I would be there. So far, that part has been a success. I intend to keep it that way. Enough about that.
I stand amazed by what comes out of the mouth of my daughter. The way she learns, how fast she picks up on things, how she follows my lead, how she emulates her mother also. She is both my wife and myself in one bundle of joy. It’s a glorious thing that I wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world. Her first step, her first real words. Until now when she can run, hold entire conversations and is constantly asking questions. How she likes to sleep on my chest or have me read to her. Her favorite questions “Daddy, what is this? Daddy, what you say? Daddy, I love you very, very much.” Those last words there mean the world to me. It’s the plain and simple truth. Love gets no purer.
A smile comes to my face when I think of a particular conversation. The wife and I had a disagreement, and well, we were upset with each other. Pretty normal thing. My daughter woke up and came into the living room.
She looked from me to my wife, and says to me, “Daddy, you upset?”
I said, “Yes.”
My daughter said, “Mommy, you upset?”
My wife said, “Yes.”
My daughter turns to me and says “Daddy, what you do?”
Out of the mouths of babes eh? I took the blame, smiled, apologized to my wife and became happy. Of course, after that my daughter asked if we were both happy. We could not help our smiles and laughter.
That’s one moment in a thousand. One of the many little things that make being a father so wonderful.
For the men out there who aren’t there for your kids: Shame on you. You don’t know what you’re missing. In turn, your kids are missing out on one of the most important people in their lives.
Get off your ass and make it happen.