“There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.” ~Author Unknown
“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” ~Bill Cosby
“You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway.” ~Robert Brault
I love love love all of these quotes, so they all had to make it into the post for different reasons. The first one is because it makes me think of KSP and how he has evolved as a man and a daddy since Q and E were born. The metaphor in this quote is spot on for both parents but for obvious reasons, for dads, it has a different tone. In many ways, many women do feel an automatic nurturing instinct for their baby from the moment of conception (others do not, and this is not explore that topic, as every person is VERY different and there are so many factors that influence how we act as a parent, but for purposes of this post, there are many women who do feel the bond immediately). For men, it’s a bit harder. They often come from a place of growing up, and the expectation and birth of a baby is often one of the very material pieces of this puzzle. The only thing is, they do not get a physical attachment to the baby until it’s time for the wee one to arrive in the world. And when that happens, the light that switches on tips the earth on its axis. As a wife and mother of a man to whom I saw this happen, the attraction it creates to your partner can be magnetic. My heart melts when I see KSP actively playing and spending time with E and Q. As our path of delivering our babies was a bit different than what we had planned, there was a period of time where KSP was scared to hold the babies. Perhaps it was fear of hurting them or fear of holding them would create an attachment and everything seemed so uncertain at the time that the attachment in and of itself created fear, whatever it was, it was too much. The love was obvious and he would spend hours in the NICU, putting his hands in the isolettes, but each day as the nurse would try to help me hold one or both (if possible), KSP would get this look of “I’m not ready” to which sometimes the nurse and I would encourage him and others that we would just quietly let the statement hang in the air and knew when the time was right, it would happen. As Q’s condition started to improve, KSP lovingly took him in his arms for the first time. The bond was automatic. You could almost see the pride and love that welled up from the very depths of KSP. 2 weeks later as E was able to come off her CPAP and back to a nasal canula, it was her turn. The anticipation was thick in the air, and I remember holding my breath as the nurse set E in KSP’s arms. Although, in my core, I knew what it meant to see a father’s love for his daughter, for I have known it from my own dad, perhaps what crystalized is how much my dad must have felt for my sister’s and me when we were born, and it was palpable. Shortly after holding E for the first time, KSP, held both babies….it was a precious moment and I think I must have taken 200 pictures of every tone, direction and distance…I was in love with my babies, my husband and my babies’ father.
What happens from that point is the part that can get complicated, but that is where the third quote comes in. As in my case, my parents divorced when I was 2 and they were the ripe old of age 23 and 27. Many things happened during those times, but some of my first memories involve my dad coming to pick us up for weekend visits and me proudly offering him some sort of artwork that I had labored over to make for him. One of my personal favorites was balls of aluminum foil that I had made into a snowman. I remember running to the door to present my gift and my dad’s eyes lighting up to receive it. He was very good in those moments of letting me know this was a most precious gift and he would treasure it forever. I very much loved and love my daddy…and while we have grown and our relationship has been both bumpy and smooth at times I never doubted that he loved me, and like Robert Brault suggests, if you try to be a good father, your child will meet you half way.
That meeting point as an adult is made even more awesome when your daddy becomes a grandfather to your children. Grandfathers play an important role in our house as my own grandpa Virgil was a very powerful influence in my life, and lovingly Q bears the name of KSP’s now passed dad, Ellis. Watching my own dad as a grandfather or poppy to my babies, is a most special experience and his love for them as well as my niece and nephew is so amazing to watch…and I know that he will give them so much as they continue to grow.
So as Father’s Day is upon us, I just want to wish you all a happy happy Father’s Day and to say a personal Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Mike and my husband KSP, TJ, Greg and AJ my brother-in-laws, KSP’s dad Ellis, my Grandpa Virgil, and all of our male friends and to the other men out there who give such special love and memories to their children, wives, sisters, mothers, fathers, brothers, and friends, I hope today is ‘yournewfavoriteday’ and a to my people thank you for making each day ‘mynewfavoriteday’.