Monday, June 20, 2011

What It Means...

I'd like to say I spent the past four weeks mastering the art of potty training, basking in a diaper-free cloud of pride and euphoria, and inventing clever ways to slip said mission accomplished into every day conversation.
"Room for cream? I haven't had time to think about it with all the successful potty training I've been doing." But alas, poop in the potty was achieved merely as often as it was used as a blog title.

Instead, I turn my thoughts to Father's Day. I read a couple of articles in the newspaper this weekend describing the importance of fathers in our children's lives and lauding the recent increase in the number of stay-at-home dads. In fact, one source stated that women in our country finally outnumber men in the work force, which means dads are finally getting the opportunity to appreciate first-hand what women have known since the beginning of time: parenting is the most difficult and most rewarding job there is.

Having just survived my first year as a stay-at-home dad, Father's Day took on a new meaning. What felt, in the past, like another Hallmark holiday or an excuse of dad to sleep off his hangover, was now a day I'd earned, a day of my own, a day to sit for a moment and reflect upon what it means to be a father.

Being a father means so many things.

It means being a teacher, guiding my daughter with my hands, my words, my tolerance, my love, and my adoration.

It means being a coach, encouraging her to try new things, to practice, to master, to persevere through adversity, and to take breaks.

It means being a scientist, observing as she tests her boundaries, taking note of things that work, things that don't work, and realizing the experimental results may be completely different tomorrow.

It means being a story-teller, describing the world to her, giving her a narrative for her experience and  inviting her to create her own.

It means being a doctor, tending to her boo-boo's, physical and emotional, making sure she gets plenty of food, rest, and especially understanding.

It means being a historian, taking pictures, writing down milestones, chronicling defining moments and stories, exaggerating them with each telling as they blossom into embarrassments of adolescence.

Being a father means being a negotiator, a chauffeur, a pillow, a punching bag, a transition object, and a beacon of infinite patience and flexibility.

And most often and most importantly it just means being there...

Happy Father's Day Everyone!

Amari and Mama in the corral 

Happy Father's Day, Dada!

Post-bath Bundle

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