Hurray for fathers!
Another Father's Day has come and gone but that doesn't mean that fathers are no longer important. Fathers should always be celebrated. I figured it was a given that I was talking about good fathers. Fathers who are there for their children. Fathers who aren't perfect but who are trying. Fathers who make sure to let their children know that they love them.
When I started dating my husband who is also my son's father, I wasn't thinking about children. In fact, I didn't want any children. Not because I don't like children (which should be obvious because of what I do for a living), but because I was afraid. I was afraid of being totally responsible for the care and well-being of another human. Responsible for growing a life and shaping them to be an independent, hard-working, positive addition to society. That's a whole lot of pressure. My husband once said, "You know, you (in the general sense of the word) can really mess up a child." Also, this world is a bit crazy and I wasn't sure that I wanted to bring a child into it. But my husband really, really wanted a child. Even though I knew he still would have loved me had I decided not to have a baby, I feel he would have resented it and me. I did not want to do that to him or us.
The funny thing is I never really saw my husband interact with children. In fact, prior to our son being born, he had never held a baby. I mean nevah, evah, held a baby. Is it me or is that strange? My husband was 36 when we got married. I figured he should have held somebody's baby by then. He's got a niece and nephew for goodness sake. To tell the truth, I was a little worried about what it would be like to have a child with him. Would he help out or just watch? Would I essentially be a married, single parent? If that was how it was going to be, it wasn't going to happen.
So, after I got pregnant we had a long discussion on who was doing what and what was expected. First and foremost, I had to make sure that he planned on actually holding his child. Then we discussed feeding and changing and the like. He seemed to understand and fully wanted to participate. With that settled, I felt pretty good about making a baby with him. However, I did find it odd when he asked me if he really needed to be in the delivery room. Yeah, I gave him a serious side-eye and told him, "Hell yeah." By the way, while he was in the delivery room with me he actually was quite annoying. He kept asking me questions before I received my epidural. When I started having to push the doctor asked him if he wanted a mirror angled so that he could see the birth. He said no. I wish I could show you the look on his face when the doctor asked. To make sure he didn't pass out I told him to just look at my face and hold my hand. I'm the one pushing but I had to give him encouragement. Once we found out we had a son he did that motion like a truck driver honking his horn and said, "Yessssss." I think he was happy about that!
Turns out that my husband is a really good father. He can be a bit gruff and rough around the edges but perhaps my son needs that every now and then. He did feed our son and even changed diapers. Of course, he had to watch a few times before he would do it. At one point I had to tell him that it wasn't rocket science and that he could do it. That's also when I made him take over so that he could change him. He made such a fuss about it and it was hilarious.
I'm extremely happy that I agreed to procreate with him. He did have me worried for a minute but he has stepped up. I've seen him be stern with our son, but I've also seen him praise him and be silly with him and just have fun with him. There are times when I know our son feels a little intimidated by him but deep down he knows his dad loves him. I feel I picked a wonderful partner to do parenting and life with. We're not perfect but what we have works for us. We even have different approaches to parenting but we cooperate together to make it work. Sometimes I think it's hard for my husband to show his emotions. It might be the Virgo in him. He's gotten better. I believe he's more cognizant about it so he works to make sure our son knows how he feels about him. Unfortunately, my husband didn't have the greatest relationship with his dad. I think that's what spurs him on to be a great dad. He wants to give his son what he didn't necessarily have.
I pray that all of you wonderful fathers out there were thoroughly celebrated and appreciated. We're rather low key when it comes to celebrating holidays, real or faux. He grilled out and I baked him his favorite coffee cake. Well, we also celebrated in another way but this isn't that type of blog. If you have some Father's Day rituals or celebrations, I'd love to read about them!
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