Thursday, April 11, 2013

Something Happened On The Way To 2

I’ve had a post rattling around in my “to be written” bin for a few months now.  There it languished, bumped by more pressing posts bubbling up to the surface and by a general lack of knowing how to write it.

The post was all about how I expected this lightning bolt to hit me when my kids first rolled over or crawled or walked and how it never came.  Obviously their first steps were nice accomplishments and I was glad they took them.  But there was no lightning bolt.  I had been told that the Mom-child bond is immediate but that the Dad-child bond sometimes takes a while.  Not that Dads don’t immediately love their children.  It is just that the “lightning bolt” moment sometimes takes a while.  Yet, milestone after milestone passed without notice.  The first month went by; then four went by, then 8 went by.  We passed 12 months (1 year!); nothing. 

Just to be clear, I still loved my kids more than anything.  Before I had kids of my own I would have scoffed at the idea that fatherhood is something you have to experience to understand.  By your mid-thirties you should be able to understand most things in life even without experiencing them personally.  Fatherhood is different.  I don’t mean this derogatorily, but if you aren’t a Dad, you really wouldn’t understand.*  Before becoming a Dad, I would have suggested parents who said they could stare at pictures of their kids all day long should maybe find a hobby. 

So anyway, a year passed, then more.  Yet at no point could see myself looking back in 25 years with a prideful tear in my eye.

This isn’t that post, exactly, because on the way to 24 months, something changed.  Recently, while lying in bed one night that lightning bolt hit.

I so expected it to come at a singular moment – that first step or first word – that its sudden generalness caught me off guard.  Just lying their thinking about them in this vague way evoked lightning inside me.

Lightning struck several times since.

On the morning I typed this I found myself staring at a picture of one of my boys.  I flipped over to another picture, this time of both.  Flipping back and forth I realized I could see them as big boys.  It isn’t the first time I’ve seen their future faces in their present ones, but time it was different. 

This time, I just wanted to stare.  To forever freeze time in this one moment; to just stare at their faces in a way I dismissed so easily before.

* Moms exempted, of course. 


  1. As a Dad, your dad I saw that overwhelming pride and joy the first time I saw the kids and you in the NICU. The picture I took of you holding Rand says it all on your face. The lightning bolts will come time and time again. Sometimes when you least expect them (as you now know) others when you do expect them. Keep up the great job raising those three little one.