I can’t remember a time that I didn’t look forward to having kids. Growing up the question wasn’t whether or not I wanted kids, but how many. I realize now that that decision isn’t 100% up to me. Robyn has informed me that we are not having the 11 kids I wanted for a football team. Now that Saylor turned three earlier this week, I realized i couldn’t have had that many kids either and it’s for the simple reason of it would be too difficult. When I say “difficult” though, it may be a little different than what you are thinking, let me explain.
When you first find out that you and your significant other are expecting, it’s eye opening. In our case we were trying so we welcomed the news with excitement. Each week of pregnancy brought more and more excitement. Then friends and loved ones start to inform you how “you’re never going to sleep again”, “make sure you get your rest now” and of course “get ready for lots of poop”. Now while some of these things were difficult and tiring, it’s not even close to the most difficult part. Everyone tells you about the hard things but they forget to inform you about the things you soon won’t be able to control.
Delivery day comes and it goes exactly as planned for Robyn and Me. I was lucky enough to be there in the room as Saylor entered this world. What an amazing and beautiful experience that I will always treasure. We take Saylor home, celebrate her her month birthday, six month birthday, putting her paci in on her own, pulling herself up, her first step and then all of a sudden we are having her first birthday party. Time is flying. Saylor is growing up way too fast. Your professional parent friends with older kids have been telling you how each stage gets better and better. First it’s “just wait til they’re 6 months old”. Then it’s “just wait til she turns 1 then 2 then 3”. While your friends are telling you this, you are now a professional and telling your friends that are pregnant what they can expect. But during all of this, no one told me about what keeps me up at night, what makes me worry in the day and what I have found has been the most difficult part about being a parent.
It’s not the restless nights, the dirty diapers, the messes that you clean up 18 times a day. Those are all easy. It’s the unconditional love that you feel for your child. When I held Saylor for the first time my heart melted. When I saw Robyn go through birth and hold Saylor for the first time, my heart melted. A love over came me for two people that I had never felt before. Loving your child/children so much is the most difficult thing of being a father. You aren’t prepared for it. It makes you want to do everything possible to protect them. To keep them safe. To provide for them. To be a perfect example. You no longer want them to grow up, feel pain, feel scared. Realizing that you have very little control is difficult. It has been hard for me to know that Saylor will one day feel heartbreak, be scared, be hurt. I know she is in good hands though with Robyn and Myself. I know this is natural to feel this way but I only know that now because i’m a father and i’m so thankful for that knowledge. I’ll continue to take each step as it come and with open arms. Becoming a father is absolutely the second best thing that has ever happened in my life, right behind becoming a husband. Those two things will be #1 and #2 and will never be replaced. Sure, 11 kids would be great, but who wants to change that many diapers.