I fell in love with my son the second I knew we were going to have a little human.
Well, sort of.
There was quite a long period of shock, disbelief, and worry that something might happen to undo all of the joy. I’m not certain I knew it was love. It was everything, including love.
When he was born, it was silent, and I was terrified. He was five weeks early and grey. And silent.
But there he was, covering his stuff so that the few seconds it took me to uncover his gender seemed to last for hours. In the end, he cried, and so did we, and all was beautiful. We had a son. And, I was in love.
I was “daddy.” Creative Mommy called me it all the time. I referred to myself as daddy, too. I thought, “This is what being a dad feels like!”
But no matter the joy and wonder and amazement I felt, I didn’t realize the depth of that love and the intensity of the word until he was nearly seven months old.
I came home from work one day, and could see him in his bouncer. He heard the door and looked my way, and instantly beamed. He jumped so hard that I wondered if he might put a hole in the ceiling. We’d just moved and I was not prepared to repair the ceiling. But in that moment, as he smiled his toothless smile and screeched and gaggled and jumped up and down, I knew that he knew me.
He knew his daddy was home.
And I knew then – I really knew – I was a daddy. I was his daddy.