As Father’s Day approaches this weekend, it’s an appropriate time to take a moment to reflect on the journey of fatherhood. More specifically, we’re reflecting on what life was like prior to becoming a father, and after our children were born. Did we change? Or was our true self revealed? Did we discover characteristics in ourself we weren’t aware of or did we amplify that which we knew was a strength all along? We’ve partnered with Pampers in an effort to highlight all that being a father has brought to our lives, and amidst the reflection also expressing our thanks to the kids that have forever altered our lives and bestowed upon us the title of “Dad.”
Becoming a dad has provided me an entirely new mission in life. From the get-go, I knew I had a responsibility to provide guidance to this brand new human being, to ensure he grew up happy, healthy and respectful. It was the single most significant act of creation for this world that I could be a part of. I was given the opportunity to help raise a boy into a man – a responsibility that I never took lightly. However, I didn’t know exactly how much fun this endeavor could be. I didn’t realize that I would be able to look at the world through his lens as he grew; that I would become fascinated by his fascination. I didn’t know that there was another kind of love that could exist, but I felt it as soon as I held him, and I feel it every time I even think about him. When we were having a second child, I was nervous. I had fallen so deeply in love with my first child, I didn’t know how I could possibly divvy it up. Once my second son was born, I had another profound discovery – love is not finite. Sure, I kind of guessed it could be boundless, but now I’m sure. My heart overflows with joy and pride for my two sons. It’s made me cherish each day together that much more, it’s made me cherish all of my relationships that much more. Being a father has made me more sensitive, more forgiving, more patient, more silly (well, gave my silliness an excuse), more loving, more creative, and more of a well-balanced man. And, I am thankful.
We asked some of our Reno Dads team to share what becoming a father has meant to them:
“Everything changed the day my son made me a dad. I am humbled by the opportunity to raise two boys and inspired to be the best father I can be, not for me, but for them.”
“As a dad, I am thankful for the meaning it granted my life. Given every possible advantage, I never felt like I’d earned anything. Getting my son through his health struggles, to who he is now, is unquestionably the greatest achievement and privilege of my life”
“When my sons were born, my whole world was flipped upside down. Everything that I thought was important no longer seemed to matter. All that mattered was this new, tiny life I was holding in my arms. My greatest accomplishment, responsibility, motivation, and joy all wrapped in a tiny swaddling blanket. Nothing compares to the experience of fatherhood.”
Becoming a dad is the single most terrifying yet overwhelming feeling of love I have ever felt for someone else in my life (Sorry, wifey). I’m thankful for that moment. It redefined me at my core in the best way possible. I didn’t and still don’t know all the answers to parenthood, but that’s part of being a dad and parent. Just love on them, you’ll figure out the rest later.
“I was overcome with emotions I never knew I had. I teach emotions for a living. I have played sports my whole life. I have experienced much, yet nothing quite expresses the experience of a child coming into the world except tears. No words, just tears. And that’s okay.”
“It was amusing to watch the baby dinosaur on that 90s sitcom bang his father on the head with a pan and repeat “Not the Momma! Not the Momma!” until your own kids start doing it. So as a father, I’m thankful for the moments my daughters choose me – to share a story with, to cry on my shoulder, to color or play with, to have a dance party with, to simply bond with.”