When I was around 9 or 10 I remember laying in bed at night unable to sleep and praying for a family of my own. I was very specific too. I prayed for a wife that would love and support me. She would also have to love animals, especially cats and dogs! I asked for kids that I could hold and protect and would look to me for guidance. And as always when I would fervently wish this with every fiber of my being I could almost feel the love that would surround this home and it was so warm and powerful that even in my imagination I hardly believed that it could be real. That was 15 long (and short) years ago. At some point I stopped praying for that life and I don’t remember why. A lot of good and bad has happened in the intervening years, but God never forgot the prayers of one small lonely boy… He was just waiting for the right time to answer them.
That was just a bit of history to illustrate how long I have been wanting to be a father. I’ve always had a huge heart. I loved and would fiercely protect my friends when I was young, treating them like family. When I got older I never stopped longing for a family of my own and always tried to find a group where I could feel at home. It wasn’t until after some time spent being seriously and utterly lost that I found (or was lead to) my future wife, Roo. She was so radiant and pure that I knew I could never deserve her. One of the first things that struck me about her (besides her smile) was her love and devotion to her own family. I would say to myself, if I could have even a piece of what she gives to her family then I would feel whole. Over time she convinced me that I did deserve her and we spent our years in college falling deeply in love and dreaming of the day that we would start a family of our own. When we needed to get away from school we’d go sit in the back of my truck in this old field and talk about all the kids we would have and the loving home we would create. I knew then I’d found my person, my soul mate.
That was all of 6+ years ago. We have been married for over a year now and Roo is currently 6.5 months pregnant with our baby girl. The time since we found out we were pregnant back in October has flown by. Baby O is a very active girl, always kicking up a storm. I predict she will be a super athlete just like her mom! While Roobie has been a mother for over 6 months now, I feel like I’m still anxiously and excitedly waiting for the babies arrival to mark day 1 of fatherhood. Other than conception and taking care of my beautiful wife (two things I love doing) I don’t feel like there is much of a role for me yet. It doesn’t make me bitter or upset, but I do have a small twinge of jealously when I think about how close my wife and Baby O have become already. I know sooner than rather than later our little girl will arrive and I will be knee deep in the daily joys and trials of being a parent. But until that day arrives I will just have to busy myself with researching how to be the best dad I can, work on baby proofing the house, and make sure Roo stays hydrated ;-). Tasks that I’m sure will be able to keep me occupied until I can look into my daughters eyes and get lost in that delicious baby smell.
I can feel the love in our home and in my heart every day. It reminds me of what I was longing for all those years ago. I can’t begin to imagine how adding a tiny baby will amplify that love a million times over, but I know that she will. And I’m thankful every day for the chance to work on being better man, a better husband and soon to be dad.