Our son Judah was born on Mothers’s Day and his bris will be on Fathers’ Day; you couldn’t make up a sweeter bookend of milestone dates if you tried. As my husband Larry approaches his first Fathers’ Day, I sat down with him to capture his magical moments of new fatherhood.
You probably weren’t expecting to actually celebrate Fathers Day “for real” this year since our son wasn’t due until after that Sunday. Now that Judah is here, what’s it like being a new dad?
It’s wonderful. I never would have thought I’d be able to see so much change in Judah so quickly. He’s only been around for 3 weeks and I can already see how he changes day by day. Slowly making new discoveries about himself and the world around him. I love seeing him become more alert and more attentive. If it’s already this exciting I can’t wait to see what happens as he grows and matures. I have to admit, I also adore seeing you as a mom.
A few days after he was born, you told me how it felt like a switch just turned on for you, like, “Now I’m a dad.” Can you talk a little bit more about what you meant? What’s different? What’s changed?
It’s hard to describe. The closest thing I can liken it to is when we got married. At that point we’d been living together for almost four years, but when we took those vows something clicked. It was like a sense of responsibility that wasn’t there before. A sense of knowing things were never going to be the same as they were before, and that was exciting and wonderful. Becoming a father is a similar experience. It’s all new from here on out, and the mystery and discovery of what’s to come is thrilling.
What surprises you about our son? What amazes you?
I don’t know – is “everything” too broad an answer? I’ve never been around babies for more than a couple of hours at a time so it’s all surprising and amazing. I am particularly amazed at how much I can see him grow and change from one day to the next. I never thought changes that quick would be so obvious, but they are and they’re amazing to see.
How prepared did you feel before he was born and now that he’s here, how are you feeling now?
I was pretty sure there was no way to be prepared beforehand. I think I was right. Judah’s been around for almost a month and everything is a learning process. I have no idea what I’m doing (I feel like that meme with the dog in the chemistry lab), but I think I’m picking it up pretty quickly. Thankfully, he doesn’t really know what to expect so if it takes me a few times to catch on to something, he’s none the wiser. Right now? I’m overwhelmed, as I’m sure most new parents are, but I’m also giddy so everything pretty much balances out. This is already the hardest, most stressful, most joyous, and wonderful thing I’ve ever done. How can you be prepared for that?
What are you looking forward to most about raising your son?
Teaching him things. The simple things of course – how to walk, how to run, how to play catch. But also teaching him how to appreciate the things that make life so exciting. Teaching him to appreciate music, art, and food. That the Beatles are as exciting as Beethoven, Coltrane, and Macklemore. The nuances of Kandinsky, Shakespeare, but also of Mick Foley and The Rock. The joys of the farmers market, but also of a hot dog and fries loaded with everything. It’s the beginning of a journey that will last the rest of our lives.
Thank you Larry, for sharing these magical moments of new fatherhood – I know they’ll be plenty more to share in the days, weeks and years to come! I already know you’re a great dad and can’t wait to watch you and our son get to know each other even better.
Happy Father’s Day!