In search of story

Father’s Day


“We’re going to have a little girl.”

If he had just seen bright seraphim and cherubim, I don’t think his voice would have held more awe. My firstborn was expecting his firstborn, and I think I had never heard such incredulity, reverence, thrill and amazement in anyone’s voice. It was as though his deepest heart’s desire had been granted, as though he had been born wanting a little girl.

When I visited a few weeks after her birth, she slept. He said that he spent surprising chunks of time just watching her sleep. How I remembered. I’d been fascinated into my soul when I watched him sleep when he was that new. Trying to comprehend his being. How do we wrap our minds around a person who didn’t exist a year ago? Who can fathom?

A couple months later, he called with a different voice. He told me he’d just walked into his bedroom and stopped, looking around blankly and saying to himself, “What did I come in here for — OH, NO! I’M MY MOTHER!”

And thus did fatherhood grip him. The brain to mush this soon? Did I laugh? Does a square have corners?

Before too much complacency set in, another announcement. A beautiful boy! My son held both protectively, his newborn son and his little girl, the awe spoken this time in his bowed head. He became fluent in parent-speak, lobbing words like “breast pump” and “diaper rash” effortlessly, acquiring artisanal burping and changing skills. With a smile, a wisecrack, a bit of philosophy, a sense of a secret shared: the lifebond. A man with his daughter and his son. Like a bud meant to bloom, he was a natural. He still is.


4 thoughts on “Father’s Day

  1. No better tribute from a mother to son on Father’s Day. Did I smile when I read this? Am I still smiling? Yes.

  2. Beautiful words. 🙂 I just wrote a post about fathers/daughters if you get a chance to take a peek. 🙂 http://wp.me/p39Wdr-76

    • Thank you! I did read your commentary on the father-daughter bond, and I agree that it is a strong one. The daughter questions were a very nice touch — they really illustrated how that bond grows with the years.

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