Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dad Will Never Be Mom...

I look at my wife and my two daughters and I know that no matter how good a dad I am, no matter how well I raise my children, I will never have the bond with them that my wife will.

For the first three or four months of a baby's life it's hard for most men I know. Me included. You do your best and you love them because they're yours but let's face that age they're just a mass of protoplasm that craps and poops and eats. Then around four months they start smiling some and at least you get some feedback for your troubles. But you're a man and no matter how you slice it, it ain't the same. My wife carried them. She dealt with the nausea, the mood swings, the gut expansion, the weight gain, the euphoria, the pure and simple love of pregnancy. She's the one that saved every printout from every ultra-sound.

What did I do? I tried to be comforting. To give her space when necessary, support when needed and relief when she hurt. But when my children were born she was the one who got up every night with them. She did the breast feeding while I watched -- grateful she had something that soothed our crying child. In awe at the way they looked at each other. Listening intently at the sucking sound my daughter makes when feeding. Just that voracious "slurp" over pure silence. I watched knowing this was something I would never quite be a part of no matter how hard I tried or how good a parent I became. I would always be on the outside.

I hurt when my children hurt. I'm touched in ways I never thought possible. I hold them and play with them and devote chunks of my life to them. But I'm still just the dad. Second fiddle. I'm not the mom and I never will be. I find myself envious once in a while, but mostly I'm content....second fiddle is hard enough...

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