Last month, I hired a photographer to take family photos. My wife and I have an 8-month old daughter and very few pictures on the wall to show for it. The photog, David Calvert, is a buddy who also shot our wedding. David sent me a text to let me know that the photos would be done soon. In that text thread, he added a sneak-peak of images.
After looking, I responded, “Is it weird my eyes involuntarily watered up?”
Being a dad can elicit physical and emotional responses similar to an allergy medication (drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, irritability, loss of voice, sleeplessness, chills, headache). The most common side effect is watery eyes.
I have found that after just 8 months of fatherhood, I’m tearing up more than usual. And by “usual” (puffs out chest), that means almost never.
Now, I’m not saying that the cuteness of my daughter causes me to sob uncontrollably into my wife’s shoulder. Most of the time, my emotional moments don’t even require a tissue. It’s just sometimes when the little person that I helped create does something that makes me laugh, smile or proud, I just sometimes develop a lip quiver.
Or sometimes people cut onions at that exact moment.
Or I have a clogged tear duct.
Or I’m trying out new eye drops.
Or “Excuse me, I have something in my eye.”
Or my freakin’ allergies are flaring up. That’s northern Nevada for you, am I right?
It’s only a little embarrassing.
Here are several moments where I teared up because of my daughter:
- When I see her after work and she smiles.
- When I see her when she wakes up in the morning.
- When she cries, stops and then smiles when she sees me.
- When my wife sends me pictures while I’m at work.
- When she smiles at me with food all over face.
- When I sing to her while changing her diaper.
- When my wife chases us while my daughter is on my shoulder.
- When I write Reno Dads articles.
- When she’s being held by a family member and puts her arms out toward me as a way of nonverbally selecting me as the lucky person who shall hold her.
Believe me, I know that the crying has only just begun. It is only going to get worse. First day of school, victories in sports, graduation, potential wedding, etc. Many other “firsts” are still out there waiting for me.
And she hasn’t even started talking yet.