I am so blessed to be a family doctor. I have the grand privilege of delivering babies, or rather, catching the babies. It is marvelous to care for a woman who goes through the physiologic changes of first finding out she is pregnant until she feels like she is going to pop. What a wondrous thing is procreation. That new life, born within and delivered ready to be cared for.
Before I became a physician newborns seemed ugly, shriveled. Now every new baby, despite their appearance, makes me smile and feel a great joy inside. The are all beautiful. There is amazing potential there, in that little squirming baby, seeing bright light for the first time. They are born with great need, but give so much in being able to draw their parents to them. Moms are connected to their babies even before they are born. For dads, that first look at their new baby boy or girl cements a bond that is stronger than steel.
As a father of five daughters, I know that bond well. Despite their difficulties growing up and my deficiencies growing up with them, they will always be my daughters. I gazed on each one at their birth and wondered who they would become. I look back over those years and smile, seeing how each one has plowed their own path. That bond has to stretch and give a little. It can be damaged and weakened, but I don’t believe it can be broken.
I love my daughters, as their father, and will always be proud of the women they have become. To fathers who read this, you don’t have to be perfect. Try to think of your children’s needs, in terms of your presence. If there is anything I wish I could have done better, it is to have spent more time with each of my daughters. We were never poor and they were never underfed. They had all the “things” they needed, but they could have used more of me.
Today as I go to see that baby and talk to her parents, that is the message I will give. Happy fathers day and love your kids.by