Daddy's First Father's Day

Michele Zipp
Baby
11

father and twins
Photo by Michele Zipp
Father's Day is going to be a big deal this year since it's my husband's first one. And I'm hoping we don't spend it in the operating room recovery area like we did on my first Mother's Day.

Hubs had big ideas for my special day, but his back had other plans. He had to have emergency surgery to repair a disc that was resting on the nerves that control his legs. I spent Mother's Day wondering when my husband would be able to walk again.

He's walking ... slowly and with a cane. But he's doing remarkably well and to be honest, all of this happening has actually made me appreciate these Hallmark holidays even more.

I interviewed my husband, Hans, about his first Father's Day and in the process learned things about him I never knew. And I thought I knew it all! And, yes, I cried.  

Hi honey.

Hi sweets.

What has Father's Day meant to you in the past?

When I was a kid, Father's Day always started with big breakfast and later on siting with my Dad on our back porch while he drank a beer and relaxed. I never really had to share him with my sisters since they were all out of the house when I was growing up. My Dad just mainly relaxed all day. We played golf a few times. Unfortunately, the celebrations for Father's Day eventually stopped after the divorce. Father's Day has always been a day of pampering for my Dad, his favorite food, and Mom allowing him to smoke a cigar on the porch or take naps.

Now that you're a dad, what does it mean to you now?

I don't think it has sunk in. I just want to believe I am doing a good job and I make my children happy. Because of my recovery, it is hard for me to feel like I am doing my job as a Dad. I think this Father's Day will mark more of a milestone for me than the kids' first birthday will. They can't walk or talk yet, but they are rolling over, sitting up, and it's letting me know how fast they are growing up. Father's Day is like my birthday as a Dad.

I can't believe our babies are 6 months old already.

I know! It's crazy.

What is your ideal Father's Day?

At home reading to and playing with the twins and then a nice day at a park on a blanket with them. A hike with them in the carrier would be nice once I can do that again. Selfishly, the day would end with me on the couch watching NASCAR and drinking beer.

I hope Dale Jr. wins.

Or Clint. But it's Sonoma so it will probably be Tony.

What has changed in you now that you're a dad?

I think I am more responsible and now consider my actions as a whole for the family instead of just for myself. Everything I do now reflects upon them and how they will grow up. It is a big responsibility and one I am happy to take on. I think I have managed to juggle my old passions, too, which makes me very happy.  Even though I would give up everything for them, we manage to balance it all.

Did you dream about becoming a dad when you were young, like I dreamt of becoming a mom?

I remember having dreams of my son sleeping on my chest in a hammock in my backyard. Similar to hanging out with Dad on the porch watching thunderstorms roll through Savannah and smelling the south.

Too bad we live in NYC. You're the best daddy ever.

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