I have used this space several times to document the new trials of fatherhood. I have noted that all of these lessons can't be learned until you become a dad. Last Fatherhood Friday I even went as far as suggesting that clown school might be a better option than no training at all. Of course all of this is just a comedic look at the reality of fatherhood. In no way am I upset about the lack of knowledge going into this adventure. There are some things that are just better left to first hand experience.
There are many wonderful surprises brought on by fatherhood as well. No, every surprise is not found in a diaper along with a terrible odor. There are so many joys of fatherhood that are unexplained to the expecting father as well. No one would dare try put into words what it means to have your own child. There is no way you can ever understand what it's like until it happens to you.
On this Fatherhood Friday I am remembering some of the new experiences of fatherhood that bring a smile to my face. In order to document them all I would need a camera on me at all times. The joys come that often although some edititng would be required. The awe of the situation hits you right from the first moment. Braden's birth was so awe inspiring to me that I nearly passed out. I got a little dizzy and actually had to sit down for the big moment. I tried to tough it out until the nurses started paying me a little too much attention and actually commented on my green color. I have never passed out before or even come close. It was not because of the medical things happening but because of the sheer intensity of the moment and all my feelings converging on me at once. With all that was happening I forgot to breathe.
That is the feeling of being a dad for the first time. Sometimes it is so wonderful that you forget to breathe. The first time I ever held Braden was one of the greatest moments of my life. The picture is part of my title block at the top of the blog and I look at it every day. All I could do was stare at him. Eventually I started talking to him about anything and everything. I was too happy. The happiness turns into a bit of uneasiness or even fear when it is time to go home. The fear, however, is easily trumped by the wonderful days to come.
Since coming home we, of course, have had the normal issues that come with a new baby. It is hard work, but with the amazing love that my wife and I both have for Braden it is easy to muster up the energy to take on all challenges. All the sleeplessness in the world could never take away the joy of Braden's smile when he first sees you in the morning. My favorite part of every day is when I come home from work. He always greets me with a smile. Other sure fire smile inducers are the way he laughs at our dogs or the one hundred different facial expressions he uses every day. I love holding him and walking around the house. We go from window to window looking outside at the big, bright world. I never want to stop squeezing him with a big hug. Another great thing is watching him and Arica together. They share such a special bond and it is wonderful to witness.
No one could ever understand the sheer joy that comes from such little things without being a dad. I make jokes about difficulties and my lack of knowledge, but the fact is I love going through this new experience with Braden and Arica. We all learn together. We all depend on one another. No matter how things go each of us is always there to love the others. What a true joy it is to be a new dad and a husband to those two wonderful people.