So today is Father's Day. I don't quite know what all that means to me yet, but I do know one thing, I am of two minds about it. On the one hand, I know that I feel like it shouldn't be a day where I am celebrated, as I am just doing what God put me on this Earth to do, be a father to my blessing of a daughter. But on the other hand, it's a lot of hard work being a dad, and so I feel like I should be celebrated in some fashion.
For those of you who aren't dads, I hope you get to understand the conundrum I feel, since it's one that I think many dads might feel.
I don't know that what I do is special or any different than any other dad out there doing their best, but I know that to my wife and daughter everything I do is special. I also know that, no matter what, being a dad takes effort. So does being a mom, and some would argue it takes more effort to be a mom than a dad, and I don't think I would disagree with them on that. I do know, that there is a difference I see in my daughter though. There is a difference I see when I purposely spend time with her and be with her. She wants me more than she wants mom. She gives me kisses without me having to ask a bazillion times, she cuddles with me way more often than she normally would, and she gravitates to me much more freely than when I don't spend time with her on purpose.
And, get this; The first time I really spent quality time with her, just her and I, was about 3 weeks ago, and it's still paying off today. This weekend we were out of town, and in most circumstances she would have looked for mom when she was tired and ready for a nap. This weekend, she came to me, cuddled with me, and napped on me. That wouldn't have happened a month ago, it simply wouldn't have. But --- hang on, video driver is crashing, need to reboot computer, be right back to finish this. Okay, back. That's annoying. Anyways, back to what I was saying. That wouldn't have happened a month ago, but after that night I took Peach out on a mini-date, everything started to shift. It's like she noticed that I cared about her, like she knew from that point on that I was here to do more than just be around and in the office all of the time, but that I do love her and want to be around her, and that she could feel confident when being around me and know that I can and will take care of her. It's an amazing shift in what happened, one that words here aren't doing the best at describing, but it's the best that I can do. I think if I had to sum it all up in one single word, it would be "Magical".
So, it takes effort, sure, but at the same time, the return on that effort, for me personally so far at least, has been exponential. And I got to eat, like that's not a bad thing at all.
The other thing I don't really know how I feel about it the whole single moms getting love on Father's Day. I understand, you're the one raising your child(ren), but I don't see how a mom can also be a dad, and I don't see how a dad can also be a mom. They're two completely unique parenting positions. Now, does that mean that being a single parent is easy? Hell. No. It's hard, and so you deserve your own recognition, and I acknowledge that wholeheartedly. But, if I am being honest with myself, I think some of that comes down to the fact that I feel pretty insecure about who I am as a dad. I think, well know, there is a big part of me that wonders if I am doing things right to begin with. There is a MASSIVE part of me that has no idea what to do with my daughter most of the time to play with her, since I don't feel like I have a very good imagination at this point. I mean, when I'm with her she can't talk to me yet, and I feel fat and uncomfortable getting on the floor with her. But, I think that as time goes on, I will get to know her better and feel more comfortable letting loose and letting go of my pride and need to be calm, cool and collected all the time. At least that's what I hope I can do.
So, I think that, at the end of this Father's Day, there are but a few things I know about fatherhood so far. Investment in my daughter early has payed off huge, and I have no clue what I am doing. Maybe at some point down the road I might have an idea, but I don't know that will ever happen. Happy Father's Day from this dad to you.