It’s Fathers Day in Australia. A time to celebrate the wonderful men in our lives – our fathers, grandfathers and husbands.
Nearly eight years ago I married one of my closest friends. I married the best man I know. Someone who knew all my secrets. Someone who would always put me first. Someone who made me laugh. Someone who understood me. Someone who fell just shy of perfect but someone who was perfect for me. Being friends for years and years before we became more meant that I knew him. Truly knew him before we wed.
The one thing i didn’t know was how wonderful he would be as a father. N is a natural. There is a smile that you only see when he is holding his newborn. A complete pride and contentment. He changes nappies willingly and without being asked. He holds his babies for hours. When Xavier and Isaac were born four and a half weeks early, he instinctively provided skin to skin contact to help them regulate their temperature. The first six weeks at home with a newborn are often described as the hardest. I have never found that and only because of N. He takes over four weeks leave each time. Each night, he spends between 9:00pm and 2:00am with Elijah, giving him an expressed feed and me a good, uninterrupted, sleep. When necessary, I can leave the house with absolute confidence that the boys will be more than okay with their dad. N never babysits – he parents. When Isaac was about 18 months we were struggling with daycare options as I returned to full-time work. N took about four weeks off to be a stay at home Dad. He was wonderful – he went to mothers group, he played with Isaac – at no point did he treat it like a holiday – he treated it as an amazing chance to bond with his son. Even now, he’ll take Isaac to rhyme time at the library when he can (generally noting with quiet pride that he was the only male). He embraces fatherhood in all it’s glory. When Xavier died, I felt acutely that it wasn’t fair to rob such a great dad of his son. My ability as a mother doesn’t feel exceptional but his as a father is. Today I wish my darling a very happy Father’s Day – from all three of his sons.