I love being a dad. So much. For as long as I can remember, I always believed and felt deep down that I would be a dad.
When Payton was born and I heard his first cry, I cried. I’d never felt a love like that before. In the completely deserted post-op recovery room, Danielle decided to go into a c-section narcotics induced hibernation. The nurse in charge, as if on cue, decided it was also the perfect time for her to make an unannounced disappearance to parts unknown for an excruciatingly long time.
There I sat, a 20-minute old, first-time father, with my newborn baby boy in my arms, alone together…and I’d never been so scared.
Three years later, as a grizzled veteran dad with a birth and years of solid dad-ing experience under my belt, Finley decided to go off script and make her dramatic entrance into the world nine and a half weeks early – all while trying to kill her mother in the process. I wasn’t in the operating room when she was born, so the first time I met her was in the “authorized personnel only” elevator on the way down to the NICU. Might I also add, for effect, that I was riding a nasty sinus infection and only a thin, clear plastic box on wheels separated my copious snot from my vulnerable, premature 2 lb baby girl.
There I stood, a new second-time father, in an elevator with my newborn daughter, intimately accompanied by her 4-person “NICU transport team,”…and I’d never been so scared.
I’ve got a few more dad years on me now. I’m a little bit wiser. I’m a little more patient. I’m a little more versed on the ins and outs of parenting. But I’m not any less scared, nor am I any closer to the title of “World’s Greatest.”
On Father’s Day, and every other day of the year, I’m so grateful that God chose me to be their dad. Despite my greatest efforts, however, I will always fall short for them. The Good News is that it doesn’t fall on me to be perfect, nor to be fearless, or to make sure that I live up to an imaginary standard or title.
I forever rest in the fact that I, and they, and you, have a perfect Father in Heaven who knows us, walks with us and loves us perfectly.