After spending 40-plus of them with my own dad I knew the drill. It’s always a rewarding day, but sitting in the driver’s seat was altogether different.
It was a cool experience to be holding my daughter and looking into her innocent eyes on Father’s Day.
There’s nothing quite like that, when they are a couple months old, and can’t do anything for themselves, but trust you to take care of them. That’s all in their eyes.
I was ambivalent about the day originally. I remain a bit shell-shocked that I even have a daughter, that she was born healthy, and that I’m a parent, but as often happens, Maia offered some expert perspective that served me well and dialed me into the day.
I’m an old guy after all. You throw me too big a curve ball and I might stroke out on you. That being said, Maia and Isabella took it easy on Daddy-O.
It was an overcast day, with some periodic rain, but nothing that precluded us from being in the water or sitting outside.
Arriving there I had one of those classic new-dad moments. I rolled in and offered my friend Dennis and Maia’s dad a “Happy Father’s Day,” and they fired the same salutation back at me, along with a “welcome to the club.”
I had to take a look around for a second, and then go, “who me?”
I imagine every new father feels some disbelief, especially on his first Father’s Day.
You might think that after 68-days into fatherhood I would be adjusted to the idea. Instead I wake up each day amazed and thankful that this tiny girl really is next to me.
Hard to say if having a child would have been more surreal when I was younger and still running the streets, or now when I’m in my 40s and will be trying to keep up with a new born.
I’m definitely an older dog, but not that set in my ways. I’m spontaneous if nothing else, adaptable, but this is a new routine for me, no doubt.
I learned from spending time with Maia’s older boys, Gabriel and Jacy, that being a good parent is a constant work in progress. No matter if it’s fundamental or fun, you have to engage kids, whether that is helping with homework, taking them out on their bikes, watching goofy cartoons, cooking a meal they enjoy, whatever, it takes time and intent to recognize what they’re into.
This damn sure isn’t like having a puppy.
I realized how big of a job I had on my hands a few days after Isabella was born, once the excitement died down and everyone went home.
It’s not like I could put some food out and place newspapers on the kitchen floor hoping for the best. Child protective services frowns upon such parenting.
Sure there is some sacrifice involved, but it’s more a shift in priorities. I’m concentrating on my daughter’s needs, changing her diapers, providing bottle service, carrying her around, and trying to translate the little sounds she makes to figure out what will put that beautiful smile back on her face.
It’s the ultimate VIP treatment.
For sure it’s work, but the perks are killer.
Isabella, or Peanut as I usually call her, or the Kraken (because she can get her cry on), oh and I’m told I refer to her simply as, “The Baby” quite often, regardless of what I call her, she is my littler girl, and I’ve got her back all the way.
I’m here to protect and serve, and am humbled to have her in my life.
Here’s to a happy first Father’s Day!