There’s a lovely new Thanks Baby commercial from Pampers. The commercial shows precious early moments between father and baby. The commercial is beautiful and tugs at your heart strings. But I wonder what a commercial would look like if it showed the not-so beautiful moments of fatherhood. Like the many times I have been puked on. Or peed on. Or pooped on. Or like this morning when two of my kids decided to wake up at 5am. Let’s showcase those moments.
All right, I’m kidding. I’m just grumpy right now. Did I mention I woke up at 5am?
I do love the Pampers commercial, and it makes me recall the first moments I had with all four of my babies. The oldest is turning 13 next month, but I’ll never forget our first meeting. Like most babies, he screamed uncontrollably when he arrived. Fists and legs were flying everywhere. The midwife wrapped my screaming little man and placed him in my arms. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I said to him, “Hi, I’m your daddy.” As soon as I spoke, he stopped crying and his face twitched. His eyes darted around the room even though his eyes could not see clearly. But he was calm. I placed my finger into his hand and he gripped it tight. I walked over to my wife and placed him on her chest.
Since then, I stood next to my wife as she gave birth to 3 other little people. Each one had a different birth story. My second had to be in the NICU after being born premature. The third and fourth children were born with no hiccups, but my wife was exhausted for both because she was busy being a mommy and working until the births.
But back to that first one. The one that started me on my dad journey.
Sometimes I walk into my son’s room while he is sleeping and can’t believe the journey from first telling him I am his daddy to this big guy that takes up the whole bed. I can’t believe it is the same person. He doesn’t always stay still or be quiet when I talk, but he is still my baby. He always will be. Someday he’ll have a family of his own and I’ll still look at him and think, “Hi, I’m your daddy.”
I have a lot to be thankful for this Father’s Day. I’m thankful that my children brought something out of me that I didn’t know existed. I’m thankful that a new level of love was opened up for my wife. I’m thankful that in those moments of tough times or gross times, that the cry for daddy brings hope that things will be all right.
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