Happy Father's Day to all my parenting brethren!!!
This being my first Father's Day, I'm understandably experiencing a slight case of sappiness. For those of you who came here expecting some of my occasional snarkiness, I'm afraid that I'm going to disappoint today. You see, on Friday, the awesome women at Peanut's daycare gave me a card when I came to pick up my lovely 8-month old daughter after work. They had fingerpainted my daughter's handprints all over a large piece of paper. On the top of the card, they wrote "Happy Father's Day." But on the bottom, they had written "These little hands hold all the love in the world for you." Oh man, I know my little baby didn't write out the card but I was so touched that I swear my eyes practically welled with tears. (I know, fatherhood has really fucking softened me up. But you knew this about me already, remember?)
So like I was saying, this is my first Father's Day. And whereas in the past, the day was merely a reason for me to buy my pops a steak dinner and give him a new putter or golf shirt, things are completely different today. Because although it may be selfish, today is the day that I celebrate how much I absolutely love being a father. I always thought that I would love having a kid and I've always loved being around children. But now, it's different. Fatherhood has changed me. I never realized that I had the capacity to love someone in the way that I love my daughter. I never knew that, in one singular moment, my entire life's priorities could change so quickly. I never imagined that being a father would become, by far, the most important aspect of my life. I never realized the amount of joy that I would get from one child's smile.
But most importantly, I'm proud of the fact that I think I'm turning into the father that I've always wanted to be. As regular readers of this blog know, I've always had a somewhat rocky relationship with my own father. There's a cultural/generational/personality gap that's made it tough to have the kind of relationship that I'd always hoped we'd have. After years of tumult, we've finally learned to coexist in a somewhat copacetic manner. But as my shrink says, the greatest fathers are usually those that had bad role models. Well, I hope so. Because I expect greater things out of my relationship with my daughter. And I know it all starts with me. I don't take fatherhood lightly. I think about it quite a bit. I read about it a lot. And I question myself at every step of the journey. Aside from being quite introspective about it, I'm always actively seeking out other people's advice. That's part of the reason for this blog. I like throwing out topics that are on my mind and getting some feedback from various perspectives.
Anyway...they say that "men who change diapers change the world." And while I'm pretty sure that a woman came up with that phrase, I do think there's a modicum of truth in it. Personally, I think it's a pretty interesting time to be a father now. I really dig the idea that we're more involved with our kids than previous generations of fathers seemed to have been. It's not always easy but, like they say, few things in life that are worth having come easy.
So to all my fellow dads out there? This Bud's for you. Enjoy the cheesy ties and giant bottles of cologne. Revel in the fingerpaint drawings, the homemade ashtrays and the handmade pencil holders. And while you may hear it from your kids. You may even hear it from your wives. Let me be the first guy to say to you...
Happy Father's Day! (Pretty fucking cool, isn't it?)