Giving a gift: A Dad’s Perspective0
Today we gave Ben his first birthday present.
I know he is only one-year-old, and he probably doesn’t understand gifts, but it was something special to see his eyes light up when he realized we brought that funny green toy home from the shop. When we tried out this new walker / rider toy called an Okiedog at the Granville Island toy store, he certainly had a huge grin. He gave us that same huge grin when he got it home.
He doesn’t know it’s his birthday, and he doesn’t know all of the other surprises his mum has planned for him, but I’m sure he’ll have fun like he did with his first gift. Getting gifts you weren’t expecting are always the best gifts… like when my wife gave me my son.
I suppose I was expecting him — by month 7 or 8 I had noticed my wife was pregnant — but as a first-time dad I wasn’t sure what to expect when he actually came out. I don’t think any first-time parent knows what they’ll think of their new baby but I’m pretty sure dads know less. Mothers have that special in utero bonding that happens… dads, well, we’re just stuck on the outside waiting.
When Benji finally arrived, it was months of sleeplessness before I truly realized how much I love him and how much I love being a dad. I really enjoy newborns and the way they cuddle into you but that isn’t love. Guys shouldn’t be afraid to admit that they don’t feel the full effect as soon as their child comes out… maybe some do, but I bet lots of others don’t. It can take a while to sink in for first-timers!
So thank you, wife, for giving me the best gift ever. I think I like Ben’s birthday even more than my own.