It is difficult to find a place in your mental latticework to hang the concept of being a Dad.
The 7.6 billion people alive on earth today all had Dads too. Statistically, being a Dad isn’t all that remarkable.
Most of the things you do as a Dad are mundane. Change a nappy, put the baby to sleep, get milk for the baby, clean the babies’ bottle, take the baby to the park, push the baby on the swing…
Emotionally, the fatigue and relentlessness of parenting, dulls your senses. Every moment is followed by another, equally demanding. From the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, there’s something to be done.
What makes understanding the concept of being a Dad difficult is that for all the statistical irrelevance, mundanity and exhaustion, there are moments where it feels miraculous.
There are slivers of time where you can connect with what it means to create and sustain a tiny human life
There is the pull you feel, as inexorable as gravity, to love your child.
It just beams out of you, in a way that comes as a shock when you’ve never had a child before.
I was riding with my two-yeard old to the pool, and from his seat at the back, he said to me, in a full sentence that I had never heard him say before, “I am so excited to go to the pool with you Daddy.”
And in that instant, I was suspended between the before — getting out the bike and pumping its tyres, packing a bag with sunscreen and a banana and a nappy and a change of clothes and wipes and water, putting his helmet on and his shoes on and convincing him to get into his seat — and the after — where he spent the entire 90 minutes at the pool demanding that I catch him as he jumped in the deep end.
But, in that suspended moment, he was purely excited to go the pool with his Dad.
Those are the moments that are hard to place.
Those are the moments that are hard to explain.
Those are the moments you sit outside yourself, and the churning, gathering flood, and being a Dad feels perfect.
And he’s perfect. Perfect, briefly.