Sunday, July 12, 2015

Not the Baby Anymore - A Dad's Perspective

Recently my wife looked at our youngest, who will soon be a big sister. "She won't be the baby anymore." She said with a frown.

It was at that moment I realized how differently my wife and I will be impacted by the coming of our fifth child. It isn't that I am hardened and unfeeling about the loss of time. I see this growth and change too. The time flies by and we desperately hope that we can cling on to these sweet moments while we are able to hold our children in our arms. The truth is that the sands of time will erode the vividity of much of life today - whether we like to admit it or not. Despite this, I cherish this transition our fourth child is about to embark on.


I have gone through this transition three times before. The first time was a little different because I didn't know what to expect having a second child and our first was already 4 years old. Because of my ignorance I missed it completely. I didn't even fumble. I just flat out blew it. How could I miss it, you ask? Having a baby is an obvious and wonderful thing! How could I not see that coming? Because that isn't 'it.' What I was oblivious to was that time when mom's focus shifts drastically and suddenly to the new baby leaving the previous child reeling a bit. Despite gifts for baby, all the "you're about to be a big sibling" books that money can buy, and all your other best efforts the next to youngest child's life immediately changes.


I feel guilt knowing I missed this with my oldest. When he recalls those days he remembers being very lonely. Hearing that from an elementary aged boy is heart-breaking. However, parenthood is a beautiful thing in the way we get so many do-overs. Henry Ford once said "failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." And if I may be so bold let me tell you, while it can be sad for mom it is a terrific opportunity for dad!

"She won't be the baby anymore."
"Yes she will! Well at least to me!"

Someday, or more likely some night in the very near future will be full of excitement and anticipation as we run off to meet this child that God has chosen to be in our care for this little while. After that glorious event we will return home and we will begin to bond with the new baby. I'm good with babies. I know this, but I am nothing compared to mom. That is the way it is supposed to be. I did not carry this child for the last many months. It was not my voice that it heard consistently. It is not my smell or body that it is at home in. My body can not provide what it needs, nor do I want to take that from mom.

This is my opportunity to be there for the last baby. Because I can give her what she needs now. She needs love and support during this time of adjustment. She will naturally be looking for the comfort she has always found with mom. In those times when mom is not able to give attention where it once was focused I will be open and ready to give her the care she needs. It is not fair or right to toss her into the deep end of toddler-hood! More importantly, now is the time to deepen that bond with my fourth that mom was building from the time God began to knit her together in her mother's womb.

This is why she is still my baby-girl. Even when the official title of "the baby" has been passed down. I will dote on her, and snuggle her. I will feed her, and clothe her. I will show her, and her siblings, with no reservations that they are loved above all else. This is very much still a part of her baby-hood for me.





4 comments:

  1. What a great perspective dad! Great post!

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  2. It's a tough but beautiful transition! Thanks for the perspective.

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  3. Great post Dad. They will always be our babies

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  4. Aww, such a sweet post from a dad's perspective! I have noticed that, for us, after every child was born after our #1, it was always a great bonding opportunity for Daddy and kids.

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