When we decided to ditch the birth control pills all those years ago and hope for a baby, I saw a spark ignite in your eyes that made my heart reel. It was a spark made into a sparkle, glittering bright saying you desired to wear the privilege of "daddy."
That first positive pregnancy test was life changing in a million ways, but as I watched the tears well in your eyes, something that rarely happens, I knew I married a man that would be a great daddy.
I knew it then more than I knew it before, because as the tears welled and we danced with joy in celebration of our first conceived child, you were both nervous and happy. You knew the weight of the privilege, the responsibility of becoming daddy, and you wanted to do it right. The pressure was heavy, but welcomed.
We said goodbye to that baby all too soon and as we wept together, entangled into a heap of grief, devastated and heavy, I saw your daddy-heart break for the first time. I saw it break as you realized that the soul your whole heart wrapped around so quickly and so easily was flushed down the toilet drain, and you were not to meet that baby this side of heaven.
Soon enough we knew it was time to begin the journey of adoption and your daddy-heart swelled big and round, with fear and anticipation, as we dreamed and talked about who our baby may be. Will our baby be a he or a she? Will they wear a different color of skin? What about their birth culture? How will our family change and transform and grow? Will they be born in our state or across the nation? We didn't know, but we were in the wait and that spark in your eye remained.
That spark of a daddy-heart.
The pregnancy test turned positive again and while I was fear-gripped with tears dripping, you once again welled with tears and swelled with hope, knowing you were double the daddy. A baby home-grown to join us while we waited for the baby being heart-grown.
I threw up popcorn and toast the entirety of that first trimester, pricking myself with needles to keep me and baby breathing, and you took such care of us, making more popcorn and bringing me water. We continued to sprint down the road of adoption, more urgent than before, feeling the pull to find our baby. Or rather, be found by his first mama. That daddy-spark never left and only intensified as we inched closer to the privilege of parenting.
As you became daddy, you became more of who you were meant to be. You studied the safety features of car seats and strollers, the difference between cloth and disposable diapers, the various activities to do with little ones at day one of life on earth, after birth.
When we received The Call that changed us forever, placing the privilege of mama and daddy into our beings, you stood tall with a nervous grin. The smile on your face was one that will never escape my memory; so fierce and so strong, so hopeful and so anxious, so bound by love and anticipation.
While your wife [me] was 20 weeks round with one son, the two of you flew a few states over to meet your other son. You read about bonding and attachment, you dedicated yourself to learning how to wear our first son in the Moby wrap, you happily engaged in skin-to-skin as soon as we were allowed to begin. You stepped into the privilege it is to be daddy, so naturally; it is clear to me it was who you were made to be.
Watching you become daddy has unraveled me.
As you became daddy, you instilled in me the confidence to become mommy.
With shaking hands and hesitant eyes, you changed the diaper of our 5 pound tiny son, looking at me for approval...and my heart swelled big knowing you wanted to take tender care of our babes. Realizing you had confidence in me as "mama" right from the start gave me confidence I needed to become mama. As you asked me if you were feeding him right, asked me to assist you in skin to skin and moby-wrapping, my heart swelled big and fat with love.
And then when our second born arrived, less than 5 months later, you stepped up your daddy-game and put it on high speed. One of the first things you thought to do was show him a picture of his older brother.
You folded laundry, scrubbed bottles, rocked babies, and share the all-nighters with me. You still do those things. You don't sleep through their crying, you are the first to retrieve a baby and bring him in to me. Mamas always warned me that you'd maybe get up to help through the night for a week, or two if I was lucky, but we're going on a year and you still get up.
You change so many diapers.
Your eagerness to be a good husband and through that, a good daddy, inspires me to do my best. To see the goodness and the joy and the reasons to be grateful. Your heart to be present and of service brings me hope.
You never complain about how much work it is to raise two babies at once and you always kiss the three of us right when you get home, with a giant smile, your joy radiating. You aren't afraid to have the babies alone for more than 5 minutes and offer me to run errands alone. As you became daddy my confidence in you spiked a million and infinity.
We talk less frequently, are often in survival mode, have had 3 dates in a year, and are busier than we've ever been; and yet I appreciate and cherish you more than I ever have. As you became daddy, you became more of you, reading books in silly voices and wrestling babies to retrieve their giggles
As you became daddy, my love for you deepened.
Everyone always talks about how they love watching their husbands become daddy, how they fall more into the thing of love, how watching their men swaddle and smooch their little ones steals their hearts on a whole new level.
They were right.
As you became daddy, I find strength to keep on going with joy because I know I'm not alone in this hard beautiful blessed journey.
As you became daddy, I continue to be honored to call you mine and beyond grateful my babies get to call you theirs.
As you became daddy, you became more you.