I don’t think anyone can fully understand Father’s Day until one is a father.
It is not like fathers ever seek praise or thanks – at least, I don’t think they should. Everything I do for Sydney I do so she will have a good life, now and in the future.
Plus, I have the firm belief, which I think I got from my parents, that kids don’t really owe their parents anything. Sydney did not ask to be brought into the world so everything I do for her over the next 18 years does not need to be repaid. It is unconditional.
At the same time, being a father (and more so mother) is a lot of work. Here has been my morning up until 8:45 AM as I write this:
- 4:30 AM Sydney cries and I wake up
- 4:45 AM Sydney cries again, so I get up and swaddle her because she seems cold
- 5:00 AM Sydney is still unhappy so I feed her and put her back to bed; at this point, I am up
- 5:55 AM I heard Sydney rustling
- 6:00 AM Sydney wakes up; I change her diaper and we start to play
- 6:15 AM very small poop so I change her diaper
- 6:30 AM we walk downstairs on our daily routine to get the newspaper
- 6:40 AM we eat breakfast together; Sydney has almost 1/2 a banana, pureed mango in a pouch, and 1/2 an egg white
- 8:00 AM another very small poop; by this point on a normal day I would have taken Sydney in a backpack to walk around downtown but I am leery because she clearly has a bigger poop coming
- 8:05 AM I feed her a small amount, under two ounces, of formula
- 8:15 AM it is earlier than normal but I try getting her to nap; my best success comes from bouncing her vigorously on the rubber ball and humming or singing softly – I think she likes the vibrations of my chest on her body
- 8:25 AM Success! I put her in her crib
- 8:27 AM Not so fast! I take her out again
- 8:32 AM Success!
My point is it is a lot of work to raise a child, for both the mother and father if a child is so lucky as to have them both around, but that any good parent worth his or her title does it out of love for the child and not for recognition. But it was still nice to wake up to a Father’s Day card planted strategically by Devon on the highchair, especially one so clever as to play the Rocky theme, which was our wedding song.
Thank you, Devon. Thank you, Sydney, Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Mom. Happy Father’s Day, all you fathers.