It’s Friday again, meaning another Fatherhood Friday post. I started this last week after discovering Dad Blogs and this wonderful thing they do every Friday, called Fatherhood Friday. So since I’m loving this whole being a dad business, I’ve decided it is only natural to make my Friday post about Fatherhood.
It is amazing how things change on an emotional level once I became a dad. All of a sudden there is this little person that is helpless and totally dependent on me. He can’t do anything on his own, and can only express himself through cries. With practice, and patience, I’m now able to discern what they mean (kinda), but it is still so limiting. Then there are the times he just randomly starts crying and I have no clue what is wrong. He’s this tiny little thing, yet has complete control over my emotions.
When I met my wife, I didn’t just fall in love with her, it was a process. It was a choice (of sorts). Even now, I choose to love her. When times are harder, I continue to choose to love her, and when reciprocated, this is what makes a relationship work.
All that is thrown out the window when it comes to Bean. When he was in the womb, there was this detachment because I’d never met the little guy. But as soon as he started coming out, I was overcome with emotion. I was instantly in love with him. He’s mine. I helped make him. And let me tell you, those first few weeks were absolutely gut-wrenching. I had no idea how to deal with this new feeling inside of me. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I was now totally responsible for this little person, whom I had just met, and was now one of the most important people in my life. I didn’t choose to love my son, it was thrust upon me, and it is such an amazing feeling.
I also feel more emotionally vulnerable. Now I know this isn’t a very manly thing to admit to, but as I’ve never been a very manly man, I’m okay with that. I mean, I’ve always been a softy when it comes to mushy things. I’m a romantic at heart, and cheesy to the core (sometime my wife loves to bug me about). Shows like Grey’s Anatomy make me well up without fail on a weekly basis, and I can’t handle emotional conflict in movies. But since becoming a dad, it’s as though these feelings have become magnified.
On Tuesday I learned that Layla Grace had died. She had stage 4 (highly aggressive) neuroblastoma, and had been fighting it for a while. Her parents kept a blog about the process LaylaGrace.org and were also on Twitter (@LaylaGrace), where I followed it occasionally. She had finally succumbed to the disease, and it totally ate me up inside. I couldn’t imagine having to go through that.
I mean, it was hard enough watching Bean have a cold. He started showing symptoms on Friday, and by Saturday he was coughing and had a runny nose. It was so hard to watch his little body cough, and feel the congestion in his chest as he breathed and not have any way to help him. So there was lots of cuddles, and sleeping (which was good because he was also a cranky little guy). That was hard enough, and knowing that he’ll be sick plenty more times in his life makes me sad. So I couldn’t imagine watching him slip away from me like Layla’s parents, and lots of other parents out there, did.