I’ve heard it said the father-child bond begins after the birth of a child. I’d venture to say many agree with this notion. I disagree.
Months before our girls were born B forged the bond that now tightly envelops our family. During my pregnancy, I analyzed everything from the subtle (but distinct) varying shades of pink for the nursery, the differences between diaper brands to selecting the kindest and best informed pediatrician to care for our daughters. Meanwhile, my husband followed their prenatal movements with the precision of a time maker, keeping track of their shifting bodies, hiccups and kicks.
The twins arrived early. Those days are a haze. I recall panicking, unsure of how to care for premature babies and how to nurse them – truthfully, I just didn’t know if I was fit to be a mom. But, by the time we left the hospital, B completed 3 classes of infant CPR and with one hand, could open and close our double stroller – two important feats I never mastered.
He bathed, swaddled, changed, and fed our twins without once showing an ounce of trepidation. He has logged many hours, pacing hospital floors during Sophie’s asthma attacks, and has whispered words of resilience to Maya during blood tests and vaccinations. More times than I care to admit, the twins have entrusted their long locks to him for untangling – opting for his tenderness instead of my efficiency.
Since their birth, it is he the twins seek when they are most afraid and need reassurance. In tandem, they creep into our bed and align their small bodies to his, their heads beside his.
No doubt, fatherhood or fathering, as I’ve seen, is a redefining challenge. But, it is also a deeply rewarding process. It takes a good man, one with an open heart, to willingly share his most valuable resources — time, patience and love — to be a father.
June 20, 2010