In no particular order:
— Scott’s absolute calmness when our three days of contractions turned into an emergency unplanned C-section at 8cm dialated. He was soothing, patient and brought an absolute sense of peace to me in an otherwise anxious time. That calmness turned to pure excitement soon after, and at just the right moment. I caught the first glimpse of that excitement when he let go of my hand, stood up from his chair in the operating room and leaned over the curtain to steal that long-awaited first glimpse of his son.
I’ll never forget the smile on his face in that moment.
— It’s a tough one, but I have to include this. There is this image I just can’t forget — as the hospital pediatrician finally sits us down to tell us he suspects Zack might have Down Syndrome, I look over at my husband, at Zack’s father, and see in those brown-green eyes the same thoughts I’m thinking, the same worries I’m worrying. Later that night, after faking our way through visitors, we finally whisper in the darkness, listening to our new baby’s sleeping breaths.
“I hurt for you,” Scott told me. “And I hurt for Zack.”
— Baby monitor eavesdropping. I don’t do it as often as I used to, but there are few sounds as beautiful as listening to my dear, dear Scott telling Zack good night.
“Alright, big guy. You get some sleep now…” It just makes my heart jump out of my chest with happiness.
— Since I started the new job, on weekends when I go in on a later shift, Scott jumps out of bed at the first baby sound and lets me steal another hour or so of sleep while he takes the baby downstairs. It’s a special treat and one of the many, many sacrifices Scott makes for my happiness and wellbeing. (And there might be more eavesdropping…)
— One of the things I was most worried about with Zack’s diagnosis was Scott feeling as though he lost his “dreams” — the all-star-baseball-pitcher-plans we made while Z-man was the size of a poppy seed.
And then when Zack was maybe a week old, Scott had him practicing his throwing arm with a cat toy on the living room couch.
And just a couple of weeks ago, Scott had to take photographic evidence of the distance Zack threw one of his toys. He was so proud.
— I’m looking at a Post-It note I kept from Scott from the day we got our positive pregnancy test.
Originally with a bouquet of flowers, it reads, “These are for you, Mommy.” Best.Surprise.Ever.
There are a million more reasons why Scott is an amazing father. He’s oh-so-patient, he’s fun, he has a perfect sense of humor. But he’s also thought-provoking, practical and stern, in all the right increments. He has handled this fatherhood that’s slightly out-of-the-norm in a way that’s only made me want to be a better mother.
Best of all, we have each other’s backs and we’re on the same team.
I’m happy there’s an entire day to celebrate the great dads like Scott — dads like my Dad, who is my ultimate hero, and who sacrificed so much without ever hesitating to bring me the opportunities I have had up until now and making me the person I am today. I’m happy there’s a day, but I hope I can make more of an effort to make EVERY day special.
So a big shout-out to all of the dads out there — our new dad friends like Scott K., Bret, Mark, Keith and Jared; our “old” new-dad friends like Bill, Brad and Mike; and an “I love you” to all of the dad-like figures out there for me — my father-in-law Calvin, my uncles Joe and Paul, my grandpa here and my PopPop in Heaven and all of the other fathers, pops, papas, dads and pas out there.
He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.