Today’s #40Days40Dads project entry comes from my friend Doug, whom I met while working at our alma mater. Check out his great answers below! Thanks, Doug!
Doug is the father of a 14-month-old son.
What was the moment when you first felt like a father?
When I saw him on the table where they weigh the babies in the delivery room. For a couple of seconds, it was just he and I back in that little cubby having a moment together. We didn’t find out gender beforehand, so seeing HIM for the first time was incredible. My Man!
What’s your favorite part about being a father?
Teaching him things and watching him learn and explore on his own. Kids are so incredibly smart and growing so much at his age that watching him master a skill is a new, fun surprise every week. I also love making him laugh, reading to him, essentially just hanging out with my boy. The hugs and when they “need you” are just so heartwarming, too. This list keeps growing. My favorite part is everything?
What’s the hardest part about being a father?
The worry, and for me it’s not worrying about him in the immediate sense but about what his future will be. You figure out the day-to-day, you adapt to less sleep, you form an amazing team with your amazing wife, but that’s all in your control. His future in large part is not, and it worries me.
What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?
He’s 14 months old, I’m 34 years old, and we cry about the same thing: hunger.
What are you most proud of having taught/shared with your kids or what are you most looking forward to teaching/sharing with them?
At this stage in his life, he learns so much through exploration and I love giving him the space to discover things on his own, even if that means a bumped body part or a torn up book. That being said, I most look forward to teaching him respect: for others, for himself and for all things animate and inanimate. There are also a whole bunch of Hardy Boys books on a shelf waiting for him. Kids still read about Frank and Joe and Chet’s jalopy, right?!1
What’s your favorite thing about your kids?
His laugh. Oh it’s an ornery laugh and it brings joy to my heart.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?
Take more pictures.
Any other comments to share on fatherhood?
In the hospital, I had to ring the nurse call button the first time my son pooped because at 33-years-old I literally had no idea how to change a diaper. I realized in that moment that despite reading all of the books, I knew NOTHING. You and your wife will learn together and grow closer together because of it, and your little one will thrive because of that.
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