The First Father’s Day for the Man Who Waited
Today I am super happy to say that I have a guest post from my husband with his thoughts on his first Father’s Day. He’s a much better writer than he gives himself credit and I’m grateful to have him share his perspective here! Enjoy!
My wife asked me to write something about how I feel about my first Father’s Day. The simplest answer is “I don’t know…”
The past two months have rushed by. It oddly feels like the trip up to Michigan and Marlee was both minutes and lifetimes ago. Without hesitation I can easily say that being a dad is one of the greatest things ever. But it seems like there’s a lot more to consider than just saying “Being a dad is cool.” Mainly because I put a ton more meaning into it and end up stressing myself out haha!
Our first two weeks together as a brand new family were amazing but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. To say there were high’s and low’s would be like saying a bottle rocket has high’s and low’s. There’s a small fire which causes something to directionally explode continuously for a bit. Then it all stops and for a peaceful moment you’re just hanging there in a happy euphoria – looking around at the beauty all around. Then gravity kicks in and you blindly and without control rush back to the ground and crash. Yup… but still… FIREWORKS! (Yes the emotional toll of that week made this much sense haha)
But now, even though scheduling and balancing obligations with Marlee’s needs is still a learning curve, normality is being restored (really struggling against the urge to make a Hitchhiker’s Guide reference). This is where I think the actual feelings of “Father’s Day” kick in. Normal life. There’s a perfection in coming home after work and my wife being anywhere between these two scenarios:
- Sitting on the couch with Marlee, both of them giggling and then saying “Daddy’s home!” like something out of a stinkin’ family tv show from the 60’s
- Sitting on the couch still trying to accomplish task number 1 on her list with Marlee screaming and not letting Steph do anything “Daddy’s home!” gets said… but entirely differently haha
Both scenarios oddly bring me happiness. I obviously love seeing my girls happy and enjoying themselves, but I’ve also always found peace in reality. And honestly, our reality has rarely been calm and simple. So why should this stage of our life be different?
Those simple moments and the strange, internal feelings of joy, pain, confusion and “blah” are what Father’s Day feels like to me. It will be different this year because I have a daughter and I didn’t last year. But it won’t be different from yesterday and that’s what I’m liking. If you talk to my mom and wife, one of their favorite stories to share about me is that when I was super young I apparently wanted to grow up to be a dad. (I’m sure I also wanted to grow up to be Spider-man but sure… let’s let that “Awww” moment settle down) So you can legitimately say that I’ve been waiting over 20 years to be a father. This year I get to be that.
But to end this, I was also asked to say something to other “waiting” fathers. And this is the hardest part. It’s difficult because I honestly don’t know what to tell you. For me personally, God helped (as much as I allowed Him in to help…) and my wife helped. But I didn’t approach a single element of this wait healthily. I think I talked about it a literal handful of times. Steph and I had a couple discussions because she totally thought I didn’t care anymore. Maybe you aren’t like me and “sharing” makes sense to you and you’re willing to do that easily… but I’m just not wired that way. But you need to talk with somebody about it all. It would have potentially saved me a lot of bottled anger and definitely some stress. Plus let’s face it – if you are blessed with a kiddo, you’re, by default, going to open up a bit 😉 Seriously, we’ve all seen that guy who you’d cross the street to avoid sit down for tea time with his little girl. So no harm in starting now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still terrible at the “opening up”… but I am now an example to my daughter, and she is my reason to keep working on it.