The Sailor and I began our parenting journey almost a decade ago; yet, it wasn’t until several years in that I realized the magnitude of how truly ill-prepared we were for such an extraordinary adventure.
Like whoa, you can think things through, talk about it, plan all over it, but until the foot hits the floor; what you think will happen doesn’t, what you think will never happen happens, and the love and the growth and the miracles and the crazy happy and sad, and oh my, it is infinite.
When I was pregnant… I had it planned; we’d decorate her room with all things cute, I’d make it through my struggle over wipe warmer or not, sure I’d read some books, learn as I go, family and friends would help, but near death experience and premature birth wasn’t apart of the plan. It is what we got, but it most certainly wasn’t apart of the plan.
Our introduction into parenthood was traumatic, and scary, and we had to find a new way, our way.
I thought I knew what parenthood looked like; I thought I knew what role the Sailor would play. He would work.
YOU SEE MY THOUGHTS ON FATHERHOOD WERE A BIT OFF; I COMPARED IT TO WHAT I KNEW… MY FATHER, MY FRIEND’S FATHER’S, MY COUSIN’S FATHER’S, ALL THESE FATHER’S WENT TO WORK. MOST OF THEM PROVIDED FOOD, CLOTHING AND SHELTER, BUT THAT WAS WHERE IT STOPPED, AND SADLY, SOME OF THEM DIDN’T EVEN DO THAT.
MY FATHER WAS AN EXCELLENT PROVIDER; FOR THAT, I AM GRATEFUL, BUT HE NEVER CHANGED A DIAPER, OR CLEANED UP VOMIT, OR CARED FOR US WHEN WE WERE SICK, OR GAVE FATHER DAUGHTER TALKS, OR BRUSHED HAIR, OR ATTENDED SCHOOL FUNCTIONS, OR MADE FORTS, OR GOT UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO SCARE AWAY GOBLINS. HE JUST DIDN’T BECAUSE IT WAS MY MOM’S JOB, THE END.
SO, I THOUGHT THE SAILOR WOULD GO TO WORK, AND I’D DO EVERYTHING ELSE; WHEN HE STEPPED OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARY LINES I HAD FORMED, IN MY HEAD, ON HIS OWN, WITHOUT MY APPROVAL, WITHOUT MY NUDGING, WELL THAT SEEMED VERY ODD TO ME, PECULIAR.
I’M SLOW TO THE START, OBVIOUSLY, AND MAYBE A LITTLE BORDER-LINE OFF MY ROCKER BECAUSE I WAS NOT DOWN WITH ALL THAT INVOLVED BUSINESS. I WAS LIKE, UM, DUDE, GIVE ME THE BABY IF ANYONE IS GOING TO CLEAN UP VOMIT IT IS GONNA BE ME.
WELL, THE SAILOR, NEVER NEEDED MY PERMISSION TO TAKE PART; WE WENT OVER SOME BUMPY BUMPS, IT TOOK SOME ADJUSTING ON MY PART, WHICH NOW LOOKING BACK SEEMS SO WRONG, AND RIGHTFULLY SO, I LOVE AND ADMIRE HIM FOR STANDING HIS GROUND.
I KNOW I PROBABLY VIOLATE SOME UNSPOKEN RULE THAT ONE SHOULD NEVER TELL A MAN THAT HE IS A GOOD DAD BECAUSE THAT IS JUST HIM DOING HIS JOB, BUT SERIOUSLY, I GIVE ZERO CARES ABOUT RULES, I TELL THE SAILOR OFTEN THAT HE IS A REAL GOOD DAD, THE BEST IN FACT.
I’VE EVEN GONE AS FAR AS SAYING, THANK YOU, AND TELLING HIM HOW GRATEFUL I AM THAT HE IS THE DAD HE IS TO OUR KIDS. I LOVE AND APPRECIATE HIM TO THE MOON AND BACK, OF COURSE, TO HIM IT IS JUST ORDINARY DAD STUFF, TO ME IT IS MUTHA-EFFIN-EPIC-EXTRAORDINARY.
TODAY, FATHER’S DAY, THE SAILOR DOESN’T EXPECT NOR WANT FATHER’S DAY GIFTS, TO HIM IT IS JUST ANOTHER DAY TO CELEBRATE BEING DAD TO OUR DAUGHTERS, BUT IT WON’T STOP ME FROM TELLING HIM HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE HIM, AND HOW I THINK HE IS THE BEST DAD EVER OR THAT HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB, AND TO KEEP THAT SHIT UP BECAUSE I APPRECIATE IT MORE THAN A GIFT OR WORDS COULD EVER EXPRESS.