Taking Esme to her first baseball gameI never thought I wanted to have kids.
In fact, I had planned out my fabulous single life in NYC, filled with dinner parties and cultural events that I would be free to go to, what with all that free time and expendable income. Then I met the man who knocked my socks off from that first hello and my fabulous plans went the way of my birth control.
It was only a few months into our thrilling romance that Aaron and I wound up in a slightly drunken discussion on the subway ride home from a friend’s dinner party about children. Namely, our mutual desire to procreate -- and with each other.
Now I look back on my adamant child-free position as a blessing because it saved me from having a baby too soon and being trapped in a bad relationship. It seems to me it was more survival tactic than unmovable stance.
After meeting Aaron I somehow knew what a good dad looked like. And it looked like my dark-haired, bearded, bedroom-eyed, hella’ sexy husband-to-be. I knew this even as we were engaged in a courtship that included some very non-parental like activity.
The parenting learning curve is a steep one, and we both had a lot of homework to complete as I became pregnant much sooner than we anticipated -- about three months before our wedding. But my husband jumped in to the nitty gritty of diapers, midnight feedings and equal parenting headfirst.
At the same time, I was freelancing with no benefits and very little income so he had the added burden of providing for our little family. The weight of the responsibility to provide must have been massive, but Aaron never used that as an excuse to leave all the parenting of his baby daughter to his partially employed wife.
While there was certainly an element of fear (hell hath no fury like a stay-and-work-at-home mom feeling put-upon) his motivation for taking on an equal role was his love for his daughter. He wanted to be not only involved, but also instrumental. For Aaron, being a dad means knowing what your child’s pre-school teacher thinks about her drawing skills and what books make her amped versus calm right before bedtime.
His active parent role only grew as I became pregnant again, and was working full-time. I was one cranky and exhausted pregnant lady and he made sure I had time to myself to recuperate from the intensity of our lives by taking my daughter on park, museum and grocery shopping adventures that only deepened their bond. My son is also the beneficiary of a father who sees his children as a gift, rather than something else on the to-do list.
I'm a very lucky woman.
I’m lucky to have a husband and father to my children that is dedicated to doing what is best for his family; whether that means a challenging move across the country or taking unpaid paternity leave when I had to go back to work so soon after our son was born.
I’m lucky that my husband had a stellar example of fatherhood with his own dad.
But mostly I’m lucky that I was able to see what a good dad looked like when we first met almost seven years ago. That’s him in the photo, giving his kids the greatest gift they’ll ever receive: The World’s Greatest Dad.