There’s a new sheriff in town…and he needs a diaper change!
Calling on all new dads, men, husbands, and everything in between.
They say that women are “mothers” from age 4, with dolls and playhouses prepping them for the swing of things. But men are different. We might be already on our way to a 2nd child and still only have a nebulous idea of what a father should be.
Say, you just had a son (or daughter).
Hope that 3 decades of walking and fumbling on this earth have prepared you for this glorious introduction. Pray that you’ve learned enough lessons, and committed enough mistakes because that moment your skin touches his, and his whole being is safely cradled in your arms, that’s when an unwritten contract is forever stamped in your heart.
For it is then that you realize you would do absolutely anything for this lump. You will offer your very soul, pawn your life, and sacrifice your body for this. This is you — the physical embodiment of your past, the totality of your present, and the certainty of your future.
That first meeting will spark an eternal bond…and in that fateful instant, you have become his slave, and he, your master.
He will prove this on the very first day he arrives home. (Yes, you have to take it home.)
You say “Old habits die hard?” Think again, he will demolish yours and rearrange your priorities as soon as he floats through your front door. You will sleep whenever he wants you to, eat when he isn’t, even stop you in the middle of a hearty meal. You better believe it. He will alter a day’s itinerary with a simple rise in temperature, and teach you to sing praises for WebMD. You and the woman who labored him into this world will be his voice-activated feeding machines. In this set-up, his royal highness sports a diaper.
The sick thing is…you will adore him for all this.
You will love him for invading your world with cribs, bibs, burp cloths, creepers, changing mats, toys & rattles. Layette, socks, booties, bodysuits, towel & robes. Nappy wipes, barrier cream, and baby monitor.
It’s his house now. And venerate him you will. You will take pics and vids of your master—like paparazzi outside a restaurant on a cold Tuesday night. And proudly, you will peddle footage to close friends and people you don’t know online.
You’re a dad…that’s what you do.
And the moment that kid’s lungs start revving up, wailing to the heavens, it will be the most painful soundtrack of your life. You would rather be nailed in the crotch than hear your boy cry.
(You dreaded the possibility of a diaper change because the first time you sneaked past your wife changing diapers was also the first time you dry-heaved…sober.)
So you start yoyo-ing him to silence, swinging up and down, back and forth, in a rollercoaster of love only a first-time father can give. You even acapella to the most loving lullaby: Drop It Like It’s Hot. But still, it doesn’t work. This thing doesn’t reward effort!
Running your hands all over its body, you feel for the “Off” button. (Bad news, it has none.)
Your son yawns…and he looks like a TV commercial. (No image is cuter on the face of the earth!)
He sticks his tiny tongue out and your heart jumps like you’ve won the state lottery. (Bald gums can do that to you.)
He sneezes, and you giggle. (You couldn’t believe an angel could do that. It’s the tiniest one you’ve seen.)
He stirs a sound…and you swear it was ‘Dada’!
He smiles…and truly, nothing else matters.
In the perfection of the moment, you wistfully gaze into your baby’s wide, round eyes. You wax poetic of his tomorrows, holding on to the fervent hope that your son is going to be somebody, someday. That you have sired someone who will make a difference — who is different — who will stand up, speak up, and live out loud. Your gift to the human race.
‘This little fella here could be the next President of these United States,’ you whisper in admiration. For every parent dreams, and to dream is to spare oneself from the limits of logic. Because in your obviously unbiased mind, you are gazing into the eyes of greatness.
You are now a father. Congratulations!
Something tells me nothing else will ever be the same.