Gradually, Not Instantly, Falling in Love with My Son
I love you, man…
It’s funny how, despite being married to my beautiful wife, I am also in love with a dude.
The dude I’m referring to happens to be a vegetarian (because he has no teeth yet) and wears diapers. I love him so much that whenever I leave the house, I carry him around in his little throne, which conveniently attaches to a base unit in my car. (Thank you, Chicco).
I guess there was this preconceived idea (planted in my head from people who are evidently more emotional and dramatic than I am) that when I saw my son Jack for the first time, I would cry, holding him in my arms. Or at least break out in song with Creed’s 2000 hit, “With Arms Wide Open.” But I didn’t. Probably because I had just survived watching my wife Jill endure 18 hours of labor- the first 14 hours of that without any kind of pain reliever. So at 8:50 PM on November 16th, 2010, my reserve of emotion was gone. I was just glad that both Jack and Jill were alright.
As I document my fatherly perspective here on The Dadabase, I promise to always be completely honest. I don’t believe in sugar coating or romanticizing the joys of parenthood to make people feel good or to try to subconsciously instill this subliminal idea that I’m some kind of Superdad, which is something I am overly aware that I am not. Instead, I write so that people can relate to real life parenting and know that it’s okay to have real life feelings about this stuff. Therefore, I will admit, the love I now have for my son wasn’t instant.
Because at first, it was just a matter of survival, with the constant feedings and lack of sleep and not knowing what to do. Plus, my wife and I moved out of state with our son while he was barely three weeks old. Then, I was unemployed for the next four months, frantically trying to find a new job. But now that the smoke has cleared and I have had the chance to get to know this little guy, I can say without a doubt: I am absolutely in love with him!
Sure, I felt super responsible for him since the moment he was born. But I didn’t have all these warm fuzzy feelings about him right away. Maybe in part, because as males, he and I had to bond first. We didn’t really know each other. I wasn’t wired with the motherly instincts my wife was. First I had to figure out what to do with Mr. Baby Dude- because it’s hard for me do anything and feel good about it if I totally don’t know what I’m doing already.
But four months of unemployment is a good way to bond with an infant. And now, I totally have warm fuzzy feelings about him. Throughout the day at work, I look at our family portrait on my desk and think about how blessed I am to have such a sweet and thoughtful wife, as well as an adorable and hilarious baby son. I am in love with them both; obviously in different and relevant ways. There’s no shame at all in admitting I am totally in love with not only a beautiful woman named Jill, as well as a handsome little fella named Jack.