It’s your first Father’s Day, and I’ve been feeling the pressure to write something especially heartwarming. Perhaps some words about love, followed by sweet musings of parenthood, then signed with an XOXO.
And yet as I sit here, wondering what to say, I find myself missing us. I miss the closeness I used to feel, when there was freedom to focus on just you, and how your day went, to hear the latest funny story without being half distracted by whether or not our daughter needs another bottle.
There’s no denying our lives have changed these last few months and become unpredictable. We’ve had to learn and relearn the lesson of giving up control. My own body and hormones have often times betrayed me and shown you the very worst of your wife, which you unfortunately have had to see and take.
I know you feel and understand love through affection, and yet after holding and caring for a baby all day, sometimes the last thing I want to do is touch you, too. I force myself to hug you anyway, but we both know it’s awkward and different. When did holding hands start to get weird?
Everyone says marriage becomes different after a baby, but I’m scared (terrified!) that it will be for the worse. I don’t want to find ourselves twenty years from now, knowing everything about our daughter and little about each other.
There are days when you whisper “I love you” as I drift off to sleep, and I have nightmares about what that means now and whether I said it back. I had thought birthing a baby meant birthing extra love, but instead I find myself taking what was yours and giving it to her instead. I know you understand, but can this be sustained? Will extra replenishment ever come? What if it never does?
When Little V grows up, I want to make sure she knows how lucky she is to have you. Not because you clothe her, feed her, and put a nice roof over our heads (though you do that very well). It’s how you light up when she coos, tell her you love her after she throws up on your favorite jeans, and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for the twentieth time just to make her smile and laugh again.
And I know I’m lucky, too. Lucky to have someone who is committed to my ever-changing moods, who picks up extra slack for the sake of my physical and mental well-being, and most importantly continues to challenge me to be a better and kinder person even when I don’t want to (especially when I don’t want to).
Life isn’t going to get any easier from here on out, but I’m glad you’re with me on this ride. I need you, you know?
Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Wonderful.