Having two kids, within 11 months of each other, really forces you to jump right into parenthood. Into the deep end. Headfirst. And maybe “jump” is the wrong way to phrase it…it’s actually more like being pushed into the deep end of the pool, headfirst. Sure, you have a little warning…like 8-9 seconds…but you are in such disbelief regarding what’s about to happen, and you have all sorts of ideas on how to make the best of it and how you’ll do it better and more gracefully than others before you, and then before you know it….
But…it doesn’t last long. Soon you’re back to knowing it all. So if you are reading this and considering having kids, don’t worry. The sinking feeling only lasts the first 2-3 years. Or at least I’m assuming since that’s how old my kids are.
I digress. Through all the times I was sinking in a pool of uncertainty, dirty diapers, insecurity, bottles, craziness, sleeplessness…there’s no one I would have wanted by my side more than my husband.
When my first-born did nothing but cry all day from about 3 weeks until nearly 4 months, he was right there, by my side, trying everything to get her to calm down. From pacing the floor until midnight with her, to trying to massage her tiny body, or going to the store in the middle of the night for gas drops or different formula or whatever the doctor (or friends, family, the internet) suggested, to even reading to her and singing and playing guitar to try to soothe her. We literally tried everything. Unfortunately for my husband’s practice schedule, the last option did not work.
And that’s not to mention the behind-the-scenes things he did to help me. Like washing the bottles in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning. Or leaving work early when he could in order to get home as quickly as possible to take over screaming baby duty. Or not fainting, crying, yelling, or running away when I told him I was pregnant as he held our 12-week old baby girl. (I, however, may or may not have done 3 out of the 4.)
Having baby #2 so quickly was great in so many ways (and I obviously wouldn’t change anything)…but it was also hard. But, daddy was there, by my side, on the front lines, ready to do it again. And baby #2 brought it. Not in the screaming baby way #1 did, but on a whole new level. The “I don’t want to sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time each night” way. For 4 months.
Even though I am a stay-at-home mommy and daddy has a full-time job, after a bit of me trying to handle all the nighttime wake-ups & then deal with a toddler bright and early, it quickly became too much. And there was daddy. Ready to jump into the rotation. From the time of my son being 1 month to 4-5 months, we did not sleep in the same bed. One person was “off” for the night and got the room while the other slept downstairs with the baby, to be close for that special one-on-one bonding time every parent loves. At 11pm. At 1am. At 3am. At 5am…
So, with a daddy that’s willing to do all that…I think he deserves one day a year where we (specifically I) shout out to the world how awesome a dad, husband, partner, best friend he is, right?
And a special thank-you to him, too. Since I’ve been 10 years old, Father’s Day has been a day of sadness. It wasn’t until 2010, on May 22, 4 days after my dad’s birthday, when I was introduced to the next “father” in my life. The father of my children. My dad would be so happy.
So, here’s to a pop who plays, reads, sings, dances, builds, colors, draws, helps, kisses, hugs, and loves…around the whole world and to the moon and back. And that’s a lot (in the words of E).