A dude's first Father's Day is truly special. Have you seen the latest TV commercial in which says something like transitioning from a dude to dad and what it means? It made me smile after all my kid will soon be having a kid of his own. Somehow, thinking about my kid having a kid was something way off in the distant future. Granted, he and his wife have been talking about it and planning for it but now that is actually here it is a somewhat of a different reality. With this in mind I asked my son what he thought about becoming a dad.
Here are some of his comments. He feels overwhelmed with the idea of all that responsibility. He wonders exactly what kind of dad he will be. He worries that maybe he won't be good enough, have enough or do enough. I laugh (which of course, made things worse) and said to him, "Well, you are in for a great adventure." Of course, that did not help either.
So after some careful thoughts I responded with something entirely more practical. I told him, no one is ever really ready for the birth of their first child. You can read all the books, get all the advice but until you actually experience the raising of a child you have no idea what it is like. I suggested that he looks at how he was raised and take the good from what he learned from his dad and myself and leave the bad. Just because we raised him a certain way does not mean he and his wife need to do the same. His father and I made mistakes, everyone makes mistakes and he will too. Take the good and leave the bad.
He wonders if he will be good enough, patient enough, and do and say the right things. My response was teach and nurture with love and don't worry about being good enough or anything enough. Be present in your son's life and do your best and you will be fine. Babies come into this world with unconditional love. The love you feel for your son is something you have never experienced before. It comes from somewhere deep down inside and the bond you two will share will be the greatest joy you will ever know.
He asked if he should buy this kind of crib and that kind of car seat. He asked questions about baby stuff. I said it's all stuff and just get what you really need and leave the rest of the stuff. Stuff is just stuff. Of course, your baby needs certain things and safe things but the rest is all just stuff. The best thing you can give your child is your presence and to show and love his mother. Together the three of you will build a strong loving family and all the rest will fall into place.
As I watch and listen and love I notice how strong and loving my son is. I watch and see the love he has for his wife and his newborn son. I watch his transformation from a dude to a dad and know that everything will be just fine for this newest family this Father's day!