In honor of Finn’s first Father’s Day, I asked him if he wanted to write a few words about what it feels like to finally be a dad! He obliged and let me just say…I cried, I laughed, and I said “awwww” about 100 times while reading this. Take it away, Finn.
Celebrating My First Father’s Day
Before I get into this post, I want to clarify that this is simply life from my perspective. I was raised by two wonderful and caring individuals and I know not everyone is blessed with this type of support in their childhood. While life was far from perfect and they ended up getting divorced, both were exceptional in their roles as mother and father, and their commitment to my sister and me was always true. I was blessed with this and I remain blessed today to have my wife leading our little unit of three. She is so prepared and ready for every situation with Rory. That allows me to find my natural fit as her father and grow into the role. Casey, you are an amazing mother and the leader of our family. Thank you for all you do.
Father’s Day is a tough one for us guys because it feels a bit like a trap. Most people would freely admit that having one single day to celebrate mothers and one day to celebrate fathers is not an appropriate split. If you disagree with me, you are probably just lying to yourselves. But what am I supposed to do, NOT celebrate it? I will write Hallmark again and ask for “Mother’s Month”, but until they make some changes, I believe we are stuck where we are – with ONE Mother’s Day and ONE Father’s Day. So, let me at least explain why I think fathers deserve their own day in the spotlight and what it really means to me.
It’s All About Sacrifice
I have been a father for over two months now and wow, life used to be a lot simpler! The catch, of course, is that adulthood can be monotonous and repetitive, especially as we worked towards the goal of growing our family. We spent almost half a decade living in a purgatory of hope and fear. However, all of this was great preparation for what parenthood really is at its core — Sacrifice.
From the moment my daughter was born, my life pivoted and my mental thought process was no longer about what I wanted or what made me happy. It solely became, “What can I do to make her happy, healthy, and capable?”
Her birth has also humbled me and allowed me to appreciate the sacrifices my parents made. Can you imagine raising children in a time without sound machines, swaddles, and IPAD’s? This generation of new parents is comically spoiled, but our time and patience remain as valuable as ever. As you get older, you begin to understand how much your parents care about you, but until you actually hold your own child and that lightning bolt of love goes through you, it is impossible to quantify.
I think about past Father’s Days and how lucky I was to go golfing with my dad, attend White Sox games, or even watch the Bulls win another title or two. While he loved sports and enjoyed those moments we shared, I can’t help but look back and think he was probably picking activities for me and putting my needs first. I highly doubt he wanted to go golfing with a whiny, unskilled 12-year-old, but he sure made me feel like it was exactly where he wanted to be.
Fathers deserve their own day because a lot of what they do goes unnoticed and I tell you what, it’s a damn hard job if you are doing it right. Listen, I am going to make so many mistakes I will quickly lose count and there is a good chance Rory and I get in a huge fight at 10:30 on a Saturday morning as I put college football on instead of Disney+, but I will leave that as a 2023 problem. For me, the beauty of fatherhood is that those things you give up to spend more time with your kids and do what is best for them, no longer feel like sacrifices. Instead, they feel like simple choices.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
The best thing about having a spring baby, is you sneak in that first Father’s Day before your child has their first birthday. That really sets the tone for the future gift-giving relationship. If Rory only gets me a hug and a wet diaper, I feel we will have established this as a simple “office grab bag” gift level of under $20. My biggest fear is if she does something grandiose, like getting a DAD tattoo with a heart around it! My guess is she will keep it simple unless that mother of hers gets involved…
Kidding aside, she has already provided me the only gift I will ever need, the gift of being her father. Right now, that means every morning I am able to wake her up and get her out of her tight swaddle, while enjoying a front-row seat to her never-ending stretch session where she breaks the laws of cuteness. Every day I think about the future and what else we will experience together, what kind of impact she will make in this world, and then I am reminded that she is only 68 days old and maybe I should just wipe her butt before she starts screaming…
Aurora, we have only just met, yet I feel I have loved you forever and I could not be happier or prouder to be your dad.
Happy Father’s Day everyone! May you share it with those you love.Finn