Your mom and I made you, boys. We don’t think about that much, I know, but … think about that. We made you. You grew inside your mom until you were ready for the world, and then …
Here you were, announcing your presence with a purple-faced scream, slimy arms and legs flailing, eyes squeezed tight against the sudden, awful light of this strange, loud, bright, cold place.
We made you.
And then …
You made me.
I’m your dad. I am who I am because you’re here.
I don’t know when I noticed the shift, but it was real, and it was irreversible. You move through life with a certain idea of self, the “me” of it all. I can’t tell you how that is for you, because it’s different for all of us.
I can only tell you that when I thought of “me” before you came, the perception typically was shaped by fundamental desires. Food, of course. Sex, certainly. Career, fun, financial security.
I thought of my “self” as a means to acquire those things I thought I needed to support my inalienable right to pursue happiness.
Then you were there, and I realized that when I got behind the wheel of my car, when I sat down to eat supper, when I went swimming, when I knocked back a few cocktails – all of these things were happening to your father. I became aware, slowly, that my needs began to intersect with those of this new dude, this new being you had created.
It was me. I was the new dude.
All of the fundamental desires that once had been the driving force in my life were now superseded by the visceral need to nurture you and to protect your father so that you and your mother would not ever have to go it alone.
Sounds weird, I know. Sounds a bit like split personalities – and it is. That’s what happens. I’m pretty sure parental sleep deprivation in the first year of babyhood is a contributing factor.
In fact, for all I know, I’m dreaming right now as you snooze away the early morning with your head resting on my chest, your tiny little heart beating, pounding out the new rhythm of my life.
For all I know, I will wake up and find that you need a diaper change and a bottle, and the memory of the dream of these last 10 years will begin to fade, as dreams do.
If it is a dream, then it is a good dream.
On Father’s Day and every day, Pampers is giving thanks to babies for making dad feel exceptionally special and empowering him to discover new roles in life through fatherhood. Pampers honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life.
Please join us this Father’s Day by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby. Then, enjoy this video that captures the amazing relationship that is created between a dad and his baby when a child is born and the beautiful journey of fatherhood begins.