Mother’s Day….From A Dad’s Point Of View
I’m a dad. What can I possibly say about Mother’s Day that can’t be better said by a mom? Well . . . there is maybe this one thing. Unlike a mom, I can see what it must be like from the outside. Walk with me for a few paragraphs and let’s see what I see.
Now, obviously, I don’t know it all. Heck, I don’t even know most of it. But as a writer, a husband, a father . . . I do make it a point to pay attention so I can shape my views about the world. You see a lot when you know where to look.
The first thing I can see is just how truly blessed I am to have a family. I try not to take that for granted, I suppose. But it slips in sometimes.
A family has a lot to do with Mother’s day. Even if you don’t have the traditional mom, dad, kid, and cat/dog, you can still have a family. But here’s the thing: for most of us, you never learn just how much all that is worth except in hindsight. Here’s a story.
How I learned to see what my wife contributes
My son is a year and a half. When he and I go out for a walk, we don’t walk. We run. Perpetually. Well, he runs. I get dragged behind him at the end of his harness trying to hold on for dear life. Once this kid said “go,” somewhere around 9 months of age, he never stopped.
He and I have a rough-and-tumble sort of relationship. We wrestle. We tickle. We roll around play-fighting. We run on the beach a lot. You get the idea. The other day, though, while walking down a flight of stairs, this all changed.
Don’t panic. Nothing bad happened. Quite the opposite actually. Something, well . . . touching, I guess. I haven’t put it to words since that day. This is my first telling of it.
Imagine the two of us (just me and my son) out for a walk. He’s on a harness and running and jumping and flying around as best he can in a crazy, half-cocked sort of manner. The boy is everywhere at once. Just then, we come to a flight of stairs and at that moment, a woman from the neighborhood walks up beside us. She doesn’t know he’s insane and super-hyper. So what do you think she does at the top of these stairs?
To her, he’s only a year old. Stairs are a big thing. To me, though, this is nothing more than one more obstacle course. He loves to jump off of them and run down them, etc. Thank god for his harness, although (come to think of it) I may be creating some bad habits!
She takes his hand and down we all walk, nice as you please. This works for about 3 steps. At that point my son realizes that she is a stranger and so he drops her hand. Can you guess what happens next? All the moms out there probably already know.
He reaches up and takes my hand to help him down these stairs. It surprised me. It practically floored me. Why now? He never needed my help before. At the same time, it was also so touching because I could see the look in his eyes. I realized then that I had been wrong about him.
He’s just a baby looking for guidance in this great big world. He’s not the crazed bringer of destruction I sometimes see him as. He’s a baby. And for the most part, he will be what we teach him to be.
This is when I realized just how much his mother shapes all the beautiful parts of his personality. Every time I see him do something sweet, like hugging the cat or kissing his stuffed teddy bear, is an example of the beautiful things his mother does and teaches him to do—even if only through her own examples.
Final thoughts on Mother’s Day
This Mother’s Day, I would encourage you to think about that. There is another side to all our equations, and it’s usually the beautiful things your partner brings to the table. Who is that other person in your life that has brought you so many new and beautiful things? This Mother’s Day I would ask you to honor that gift—even if it comes from a father, or perhaps even a stranger.
Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day Yaiza. I Love You and I absolutely could not do any of this without you!