It has taken no time for me to fall in love with my son. None. He’s amazing and a miracle I cannot wait to see and hold each and every day. As a new father, I find so much of thoughts occupied by his being in my life.
I would be remiss to not bring up my own dad in this post. I like to think I learned valuable lessons from him when considering this thing called fatherhood. Did he do everything right? Nope. Do he do things right? Absolutely. I can easily look back at my life as a kid, teenager, and young adult and say I was not the best to deal with. I had attitude issues and selfishness that made me a bit of a jerk at times (probably not a shocker to my friends who have known me for any long period of time). I believe my dad did the best he could when dealing with me. I would say we’re on great terms now and have been for several years, which I’m thankful for. I trust and continue to reach to him when I come up against things I don’t know or need help with. I appreciate him in so many ways and am happy to see him be a grandpa and build a relationship with his grandson.
Back to me now (lol). Those first few weeks with a newborn were tough. Not only are you tired but you’re dealing with a tiny human who just spent months in the womb only to be pulled out and put into a whole new environment full of sounds, textures, and light! Sensory overload to the max, I’m sure. All you want is for the crying baby to fall asleep, but you are unable to figure out how to after its been fed, burped, and changed. Gold medals for parents all around! (Oprah style)
Now, we are 8 weeks in and he’s fallen into a schedule, sleeping regularly and even giving mom and dad 3-4 and sometimes even five hours straight of sleep during the night! It’s glorious! Something else is happening though and I will do my best to describe it.
Our little boy is starting to make eye contact with us, not staring off into the distance, fixated on a shape or the wall. It’s in these moments that he meets my eyes that I find my heart filling with love. In that eye contact, I see understanding, recognition, and love on his part. The wheels are turning, forming conscious thoughts. In this connection, which was lacking in the first few weeks, I understand fully a father’s love for his child.
I talk to him, encouraging him and promising days in the future where he will have great opportunities. I find myself excited for the days where he tells me his dreams. I anticipate the questions he will have about the world. Then, me being honest, there will be the days where he makes mistakes and faces the consequences of his choices. How I speak to him in those moments will likely have just as great an impact as the days I comfort and congratulate him.
I have so much to look forward to and can only guess at what will take place and who he will become. He will teach me new things about myself as he grows and searches for meaning and purpose. I’ll ask him to forgive me when I make mistakes of my own, trust me when there does not seem to be any clear answers, and join me of great adventures of exploration.
Fatherhood is a blessing and opportunity for true legacy and impact in the world. I can only be his father and no one else’s (until he has siblings of course). My prayer and hope is I will be a source for peace, wisdom, and comfort throughout his life. My joy of him will far exceed any momentary disappointments that will come along the way. In this, I truly believe in these early days of fatherhood that so long as I remember these things, he and I will establish and maintain a lasting bond.
Call to Action: I realize not everyone is blessed to have a father in their lives but I know we often find others to take that role. I would encourage you to reach out to them and let them know how much you appreciate their place and impact in your life.