On Sept. 15, 2013, my life changed dramatically.
I grew up in working class family. Not poor, not rich. My parents are divorced but both have been always been involved in my life. I have step-parents on both sides and they are equally wonderful. I guess you can say I am lucky in that aspect because there are a lot of stories about divorce and/or step-parents that are usually negative. I don’t have a story like that.
I am an only child. Why is that important? Well, because I don’t have any experience with children, as I might have with if I had had younger brothers or sisters. Honestly, I know nothing about kids. And an even bigger nothing about babies. But here I am, with an infant by my side.
Prior to Sept. 15, I could walk through our door, sit down and relax. I could grab a snack, something to drink, flip on the television and watch my favorite show. I could grab my motorcycle keys and tell my wife I’ll be back in a little bit. My friends might call on a Friday night and out the door we would go.
Those days are over. I’m a dad now. I’m a parent now. I have a family now.
Here’s the thing: I love it. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. This whole family thing is exciting.
Hard? Not really.
Enjoying it? Every minute.
I do miss being a kid. Some people say they would do anything to be young again and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy life before having a family. But I have to say, I like raising a child better than being one.
As a matter of fact, this morning before I left for work, I gave Brynlee a kiss on the forehead. She instantly smiled. To someone with no kids, this might not seem like that big of a deal. But for a new father, it does something near unexplainable.
It makes your heart melt.
To look into my daughter’s eyes and feel the way I do is another near-unexplainable feeling. Only another father can know what I am talking about.
Mothers have a different bond. A just-came-out-of-my-body/part-of-me type of bond, if that makes any sense.
My bond, as a father, is more of a reflection-of-self. I can see myself in her. It’s extremely intriguing and somewhat addicting. How someone so small, who has characteristics of both of my wife and I, is here in my arms, is just amazing. My vocabulary isn’t large enough to completely describe all of the emotions and thoughts that run through my mind when I look my child in the eyes.
We do not have the physical bond that mothers share. Our bond is strictly emotional. Have you ever seen a grown man cry? Probably not, because it’s pretty rare. But I can guarantee you that if the emotional bond between the child and dad is broken, there will be tears. It’s that strong.
I am already freaking out about when she is in her teens, and when she is ready to part from us. How am I going to deal with dating? Or seeing her heartbroken? It’s bound to happen. She will be hurt, she will be taken advantage of, she will be lied to. There’s nothing that I can do about it, except be there for her when she needs support. Every dad goes through this. You can’t change the inevitable.
She can always be daddy’s little girl. I will always remember her the way she is now. She will grow up and change, but not in my heart. I will take care of her until I no longer can. I will spoil her a little bit, but not too much. Not enough to make her lazy and not a productive member of society. Enough to let her know that I care and that I love her the most.
I hope she sees me the same way. I hope that I can be the best dad in the world. I want her to think of me as the ideal father. Will she? I don’t know. Only time can tell.