On FatherhoodBy: Darren Sproat Jun 9th, 2011
Category: Then Life Happens
A N N O U N C E M E N T
Check out Angela’s latest book, Your Story Matters, You Matter – A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story. Join with me to celebrate this amazing milestone with Angela.
Last week I wrote about a parent’s role evolving over time and it got me thinking more about my role as a father. I hope the Moms and Dads out there enjoy this one too.
It was a chilly autumn day in 1999. I had just turned 28 years old and my wife and I had tried to get pregnant for what seemed like forever. In reality, we had been trying for about 5 years. I was starting to resign myself to the very real possibility that I might never be a father. As a last resort, we were referred to the Regional Fertilization Program at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital to take part in their In Vitro fertilization program.
We had taken in all the pre-screening tests and mandatory information sessions. I remember thinking about the success rate and how low it was – one of the highest success rates in North America, but it was still low. I remember remaining hopeful but ever-aware of the possibility I may never be a father. I stayed positive and supportive of my wife. She wanted nothing more than to be a mother and so, I kept her attention away from the ‘numbers’.
We were accepted into the program and, while we experienced many ups and downs, on September 5, 2001, I became a father to a beautiful little girl. My life changed forever. You might think that a guy who was focused on becoming a father for 7 years might be prepared to be a father.
No amount of preparation could possibly have prepared me for the years that followed. Never before had my thoughts been entirely consumed by the well-being of this most important of little people. I had new motivations in life. New things became important to me. Old things didn’t seem to matter anymore. Quite suddenly, I realized, I was responsible not only for my life but for the life of my daughter as well.
My daughter, a new part of my life that I loved so much and so unconditionally. She turns ten late this summer. I can’t believe the time has passed as fast as it has and how much she has accomplished in so little time. In some aspects, she has changed so much… her personality, for example, little bits of me and little bits of her mom, all wrapped up into one beautiful little package. In other aspects, she remains the same as the day she was born… her eyes and her smile, for example, light up a room as much today as the day she was born.
So, what is it about fatherhood that I love? I couldn’t possibly list them all but I will list a few.
- I love playing “Tickle Monster” with her. It’s something we have done for as long as I can remember.
- I love her hugs because they are just like mine… you KNOW she’s hugging you. And we still do “running hugs” although, I am finding that she might be getting a little too big for running hugs.
- I love listening to her sing and I love singing with her even though I know she would rather I kept my mouth shut.
- I love tucking her in and talking about whatever comes to mind at bedtime. I love that she falls asleep with a smile on her face every night.
- I love that she kids around with me almost as much as I kid around with her. You have to wake up pretty early to pull the wool over her eyes.
- I love that she challenges me but I love even more that she challenges herself.
- I love the bargaining and negotiating she does to try to get her way. I encourage it and she’s getting good at it.
- I love that she looks to me for knowledge and, when I don’t know the answer or, when she thinks I am wrong about something, she takes the initiative to find out herself (she’s been successful at proving me wrong a couple times now).
- I love her desire for independence. Not only because it prepares her for the day she needs to be but, and I may be delusional here, it just might prepare me for the day I have to let her be independent.
- I love cuddling up and watching a movie with her.
- I love playing board games with her… there’s never enough time to play board games, in my mind, but when we do, I love it. A month or two ago she beat me at Scrabble although I still think she cheated.
- I love that she sticks up for herself and her friends.
- I love that she watches and at least pretends to like football when Daddy’s favorite team is playing.
- I love it when she calls me Daddy.
- I love life as a Daddy!
Dads, what do you love about fatherhood? And, Moms, perhaps you could share what you love about being a mom!
We Invite You to Join the Discussion and Spread the Word. We find inspiration in the comments left by our readers and invite to you join the discussion. We are also grateful should you choose to share this article with your social networks.