As a father, I’m pretty involved in my little boy’s life. I get him ready every morning, feed him breakfast, drop him off at the babysitter’s. We all eat dinner together, I chase him around our family room, I play basketball with him, walk with him to the park, take bubble baths with him, and put him to sleep many evenings. I change his diapers, take him to the doctor, help watch him when the sitter’s out of town, and take him to Petco to chase the pet animals. (Please don’t get me wrong, my babycakes still does the vast majority of the work!)
Yet just this evening, I went into his room to check on him. I lowered the gate to his crib to give him a kiss–and I was just overwhelmed with the feeling that it sucks for him to have such a young dad like me. Like most young fathers, I’m incredibly busy. I work days, nights, and weekends … I even work the graveyard shift. It’s not uncommon for my wife to take our son out after dinner because I have to go back to work. And it is definitely commonplace for her to have him out with her all weekend while I run between classes, meetings, and my go-everywhere-with-me laptop. I probably see him as much on the weekends as I do on the weekdays. I spend time with him, take care of him, and play with him as much as I can, but most of the time, I’ve got so many other things going on. And it sucks. It sucks for him…it sucks for me. Tonight, as I was caressing him, that feeling that I’m missing out on his life was just overtaking me.
Busy…see? I’m talking about myself too.
But let it be known, I was the first to smooch his newborn face, the first to make him giggle with glee, and my cheeks are the first he’s ever kissed.