My father, sarcastically “dear old dad”, was not around. I can make excuses for him—he was young, he didn’t know any better, he didn’t have a good male role model, blah, blah, blah. Truth is truth: he was a coward. Thankfully, my grandfather was not. My father figure was a man 56 years older than me. Grandpa is a good man, a good provider, a good story teller, good with his hands, good at many, many things. He took me places with him. He held my little hand and told me stories. We took naps together and went to the hardware store. He pulled splinters out with tweezers and taught me how to play pool. I am thankful that I had him in my life as a young girl; he filled the daddy-is-a-loser void and then some.
My husband is a new dad. Baby S is only 9 months old. She adores her father already. He is the funniest, and most fun; he is the giver of baths and unusual treats, like banana, Nilla wafer pudding and first slices of tart and tangy lemon. My heart is filled to overflowing with love for my husband as I see him becoming a father to Baby S. I know it takes time for a man to become anything. I wish for myself patience and generosity for my husband…to give him the chance, the time to fill the shoes of a father, of a husband, of a man—the chance to become S’s father. I suppose it may take a lifetime of becoming to get it down—to really know how to be anything—a mom or a dad seems like you are always learning new and better ways to love your children. I can’t wait to see it unfold, each year a new place in their lives together. Oh, my little family, I am so in love.