June 21, 2010

a happy father's day

When I first told him that he was going to be a father, I was met with a mostly blank stare.

"Here. Look," I said, thrusting the pregnancy test in his face and holding back my tears of joy and excitement. I had been waiting all day to show him. It didn't help that I had had the day off from work and was alone the whole time, just me and my big secret, ready to explode.

"What is this?" he asked quietly. "What does this say?"

"It says we're pregnant," I replied, lunging in to hug him. "We did it!"

He was still a little stunned ... Obviously at a loss for words as his mind processed the complexity and enormity of the situation. Even when he understood what I was telling him I realized that he still didn't quite get it. His mind was too busy processing all of the little details that come along with having a child:

How would we adjust to life not as a couple, but as a family?

How would we afford all the new expenses?

How would he be at being someone's father?

Looking back, I completely understand his lack of enthusiasm. I see now that there was an inherent difference between our treatments of the news: I was thrilled with what a new baby would bring and how it would enrich our lives ... And he was downright terrified.

I can in no way make generalizations for all men (just the one that I am married to), but my husband was utterly consumed by the fact that things would change ...

His wife would get fatter.

His house would feel smaller.

His free time would be cut shorter.

His wallet would become lighter.

Our life as we knew it would be totally different.

"What if I can't do it?" he asked me one night, deep into the pregnancy.

I assured him then that he could, that he would, do it ... And that he'd do it well. It might not gel immediately, and it would take some getting used to, but I married him because I knew he'd be a great father when the day came ...

And I'm never (well, hardly ever) wrong.

As Father's Day approached this year, it was so good to see him growing more comfortable and confident in his role as someone's dad. With each day, he, just like Malcolm, grew leaps and bounds. While he is not quite the "seasoned" pro yet, he is getting there. You need look no farther than the smile on the little guy's face to see that he absolutely adores his father.

And, you know what? I must admit that I do, too.

Happy Father's Day, Dearest.

1 comment:

  1. I love your writing, Emily! And it's also nice to hear that these questions and fears are normal. =)
    You guys are amazing parents!!!