Jun 16, 2012
We have just finished reading bedtime stories. One for each of you, and I knew beforehand which one you’d each pick but somehow the fact that it is always the same and you know all the words is charming rather than infuriating. And then we counted in the dark until we got to fifty – all the while each of you mimicked one another and had lots of giggles. Now it is quiet, and from one side of the bedroom I hear a faint wheeze that tells me one of you is sleeping. As I stare at both of you, I reflect on Mama’s request to think about fatherhood for Lisha’s blog and what it means to me.
We heard so many scare stories about parenthood from our friends as we were waiting your arrivals – the impending permanent exhaustion, the incessant bills, the end of the couple with the beginning of the family – but “don’t worry”, they all said, “it’s worth it!” For me it’s actually simpler to summarise… from the day you two became part of our lives, the important became trivial and the trivial became important. The transformation of a man’s life as he sees the world through the prism of fatherhood has been surprising to me, and I am eternally grateful for the discovery of the true richness of the greatest human bond it has given me. What was special about the most complex TV and surround sound system? How could I devote so much time and energy to selecting it and assembling it and now stare at you guys brutally handling it and not flinch? Why am I not going crazy as you are doing somersaults on our best furniture which we debated about buying for two years? Why did we just laugh instead of cry when one of you covered his face – and the carpet – in Mama’s mascara? What was important to me before is now trivial.
More importantly, I never gave a butterfly a moment’s notice and yet now I can spend hours with you looking for them, watching them fly. I never assumed a bowl of spaghetti bolognese or a roast chicken was a culinary experience to rival a leading restaurant so why when the four of us sit around the table for a homemade meal there is no better table on the planet? What was trivial to me before has become so important. Of such paramount importance that it now defines my existence. I am here to make your lives full of happiness, give you guidance but not orders and allow you to become the best boys, adolescents, and men that you deserve to be. Achieving that, and seeing the world through my parenthood glasses, is all I need since you arrived.