About three months ago, I met you for the first time. Love, panic, awe, fear, admiration, anxiety…I didn’t think it was possible to feel so many different emotions at once.
As I get closer to celebrating my first Father’s Day with you, I’ve tried to step back just a little and see if I can explain to you what I’ve learned about being a dad. I’m still really new at this gig, so cut me some slack — but here’s what you’ve taught me so far:
I need to ask for help.
I want to be the best father in the world. I want you to be so proud of me and I want to be your hero. But I can’t do this alone. Your mother and I are fortunate to be blessed with wonderful friends, family, and a supportive community who would love nothing more than to help us on this journey. I tend to want to do everything myself — just to prove that I can. But that’s simply not going to work. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, and I need to get better at reaching out and asking for help when I need it.
Don’t ask your mother how I can help. Just start doing stuff.
There will always be laundry that needs to be folded, diaper pails that need to be emptied, groceries to get, a house that needs cleaning, and food to cook. Instead of just following your mother around asking her what she needs me to do or waiting for her to come ask — I just need to do it. Your mom’s far too busy taking care of you to have to worry about giving me a list of chores. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know how to fold your onesies just right – the simple gesture of doing it without being told to is significant.
Enjoy the little things.
You drooled all over me yesterday — and I loved it. It’s wonderful to watch you hit so many major developmental milestones, but I don’t want to get caught up waiting for you to speak, crawl, etc. So I’m going to celebrate the little things — like the fact that you burp almost as loudly as I do and that you fall asleep every time we take you for a walk.
Don’t live behind the camera.
I’ve taken approximately 5,000 pictures of you since you were born because you’re adorable. But my biggest fear is that I’ll miss what matters most because I’m constantly trying to capture every moment. I need to remember to put down the phone and just hold you as much as I can. Because one day, before I know it, I won’t be able to.
So there you have it, son. These are just a few dad lessons you’ve enlightened me with. If there’s anything I know, it’s that I still don’t know a whole lot — but I can’t wait for us to figure things out together.