Thursday, September 30, 2010
On Becoming Daddy
Perhaps one of the greatest joys of having a son is getting to watch my husband become a dad. Granted he was "father" to the child biologically in an instant. His part as dad is constantly developing (and entertaining, quite honestly).
From the moment Noah was born, Dave has said the things that a dad should say: teaching him about life, about girls, about Jesus; telling him how much he's loved. He has always blown raspberries on his belly and exposed him to the fun of mischief. However, I was always the default caregiver, the one who read the books, the one who knew the answers (most of the time).
Two weeks ago, I returned back to work to a job that requires me to be gone from home in the evenings. Now, Dave is in charge of putting Noah to bed more often than I am. The first few nights, I wondered how things were going to pan out. I kept checking my phone, expecting to get an urgent call: "What should I do to make him stop crying?" or "Where is the pacifier?" or "Which pajamas should he wear?" That first night, I did get quite a few text messages. The second night, perhaps one. The third night, I didn't get a baby update until I got home.
On a recent night off, I got to be a witness to the routine that the two of them have established, only to be (I'm ashamed to say) surprised at how good Dave was at taking care of Noah. He gave him a bath, washing in all the cracks--my chunk of a son has quite a few, dried him off, cuddled with him, read him a story from his Bible book, walked with him, put him in his cradle and watched patiently while Noah drifted off to sleep, realigning the pacifier when necessary.
I can't put in to words how my heart swelled at the joy of watching my husband be a great dad. It is a transformation that I anticipated and expected, but one that I could not have known would be so wonderful to see.
Dave now knows Noah's needs now more intuitively, he's able to make him laugh in countless ways, and he really enjoys hanging out with his little son. The light in his eyes is illumined by the joy in his heart. He LOVES being a dad, and I am blessed to be witness to it.
As much as I dislike having to go back to work, as much as I wish I were home when there, as much as I grumble and whine about the situation, I am so thankful for the opportunity that my going back to work has opened in Dave's relationship with Noah and in building the character of "dad" in Dave. I see God at work in this, too, and I marvel at His provision.