Over the years D and I had many conversations about having children. Some wavered on maybe possibly yes, some were stuck in the middle, some were hesitant but kinda pretty sure no. Some of those no periods admittedly lasted quite long, but obviously came to an eventual end.
In times of those conversations that ended in no, we were driven by a worry that we weren’t sure if we could be selfless enough to have children. On top of so many other things, bringing a child into your life requires tremendous amounts of sacrifice. For all the years we had been together, and for the very many years before that, we both relished in the quiet, predictable, certainty of our lives. Our hobbies and interests were paramount to us, practically creature comforts, and we were incredibly habitual and unwavering in doing them. Trying to bring a child into that equation often felt like it would be mixing oil with water.
O changed everything.
In watching D become a father, I have often thought back to those conversations. I replay who the people we were then to who we are now, and I am stunned. In D’s case, a man who once professed great worry that being a father would take away from him all the time in his life for the things he liked to do, he is transformed. Not necessarily to something greater, but to someone who now lives beyond himself. To someone who’s things he likes to do now intimately involve his son and the joy he now derives from life is deeply connected to the time they spend together — 99% of which they giggle and smile at one another, thick as thieves.
Some might say that this happened because he became a dad, but I disagree. Some men have children that never evolve or truly get it. Ever since O came home from the hospital, however, this has categorically not been the case for D. Selflessly he has poured every inch of himself into helping his son, helping me help his son, and helping me stay sane in being there for our son. If I only have three and a half hours of sleep one night, then so does D as he trades off to relieve me, regardless if his next day ahead holds twelve hours of work and commutes. Unfailingly he has been there at any and every hour that I’ve needed, and at times I’ve gotten more rest than him, for he has believed since the beginning that I work just as hard at raising our son during the day then he does at work, and that belief doesn’t stop when shit gets real at 3AM.
This willing and continual sacrifice of sleep, one he continues to make at the drop of a hat if I even begin to speak aloud a moment of need, it represents one of the THOUSAND sacrifices D has made and continues to make every day for the sake of our family. It is in stark contrast to a man who once wondered if he could ever be selfless enough to have a child. Tirelessly he endeavours every day to make it so that we equally share the load and responsibilities of raising our son, and his continued recognition and appreciation of how hard I work every day, being on mat leave or not, makes my heart sing. I do not deserve him, but I love him terribly. Happy Father’s Day, D. For you, I have all the gratitude in the world.