Man of the House. The Great Provider. When I hold my daughter and look into her eyes, I feel about 85% confident that I am sufficiently fulfilling both of these roles.
Totally asleep, she just grinned at me. Cutest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen, if I say so myself.
She’s teething pretty hardcore right now and keeping us on our toes all through the night, so naturally the other 15% of me says, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Which is mostly pretty true. I never counted myself a “baby person.” I was never good with kids, could never really connect with them or even joke around and make them laugh (my brother inherited all of those gifts). So yeah, this has been an entirely new and thoroughly eye-opening experience. Sure, I read a few books along the way, but half the time I feel that as soon as I do figure out what’s going on, everything changes on me. Change is the only constant, especially when it comes to fatherhood. Expect the unexpected!
I’m learning new things every day. Things about her, things about myself, things about my wife. Being a dad is easy. Fatherhood is hard, harder than anyone ever prepared me for. My dad made it all seem easy, made every answer seem unquestionable, made every bit of wisdom meaningful. Of course, I’m sure that’s just an oversimplification, but that’s the general impression I have of him from my youth (which still says quite a lot, I think).
I need my dad. I may not realize it or even think about it consciously, but I need him every day. I have my moments when I feel up to the task, but I still have so much more to learn from him.
And one day (or incrementally day-to-day), I will become a great father and a great role model for my daughter (and myself). One day I will be able to look at my dad and proudly say, “There is nothing more you can teach me.” But we’ve all got a long way to go.
We Great Providing Men of Houses.