In the past four weeks I’ve witnessed four men become four fathers.
Four men who found four very different ways to provide for their family when they needed it most, as their family needed it.
Four unique families whose lives changed in an instant, as they walked the path that is leaving behind all things familiar and bringing a child into the world.
Four men who left their ego at the door and asked questions about childbirth when they didn’t know answers, and then committed to being a vital part of it.
Four men who called me in the middle of the night with a stopwatch in hand and an excited cracking in their voice as they gave me their documented report.
Four men who enthusiastically brought their naked newborn babe to their buff bare chest, amidst skull and gun tattoos and toned biceps.
Who tripped over their own feet to hug their family doctor for her assistance in bringing their firstborn into the world, in the middle of a postpartum exam.
Who took to the basement with their baby on day four, after day three’s growth spurt, to give his wife the whole bed for two glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep at 2pm.
Who helped his wife take it day by day by cooking all the meals for his family of six, despite the fact he was fasting and couldn’t eat a thing himself.
Who held his wife’s hand and heart as they made a return trip to the Intensive Care Unit with a lump in his throat.
Four men who engaged in the process.
Who cared about the journey, the outcome, and walked every step between.
Four men whose journey to fatherhood meant accepting change with open arms.
Four men who invested.
These past four weeks four men stepped up to become fathers, and not just dads.
But actually, there were five. Because these past four weeks, my own husband allowed me the privilege to witness it by dropping everything in an instant to provide for each of our own children’s needs.
And that’s what fatherhood is: it’s a sacrifice.
This Father’s Day, I salute all five of these fathers, as well as my own, and the millions more who are stepping up each and every day to be providers for their unique families.
People tell me I’m a daddy’s girl and I tell them there’s so much more to it than just that. Mine was a real father, providing me with the solid understanding and confidence in myself to set out in the world to find a real man for me as my own father was. It’s thanks to the self-sacrificing fathers out there that girls can be raised to become supported mothers, and that’s what keeps this world spinning around.
So for that, and to you and yours, Happy Father’s Day.