Parenthood is not for the faint of heart (nor is the TV show…so. many. TEARS!). It can make you into a comPLETEly different person. It forces you to confront the good, the bad, and the ugly (those 12am, 3am feedings, man. I feel like you shouldn’t be culpable for what’s said in those wee hours).
And it can also transform the man you love into a daddy braver than the bravest knight.
I loved my husband the moment I met him (as I always told my students, our story is my FAVORITE story…). And from that moment he already would’ve taken a bullet for me.
But his little girl.
It’s just the most beautiful thing in the world to watch them love each other.
(Did they get each other right of the bat?? Nooooo…but newborns are tricky, and this is our guinea pig child. So learning must happen.)
I think something starts to click in a man the minute they see those two lines. Maybe guys are faced with all their insecurities, or they watch their freedom flash before their eyes…I can’t pretend to know. I DO know that I watched Mark become a Daddy physically and mentally the moment I came gasping out of that bathroom. In the moment he knew teeny cells had formed a new person, he was emphatically in love.
I’m the worst at being taken care of sometimes. My poor husband wants to protect me from any and all dangers, and I just run around in bare feet, climbing all the things. Pregnant even. So we had many a talk about staying safe, keeping babe safe, and not living THAT close to the edge. And when you have a man who cares for the two of you that deeply that it hurts him to see either of you in danger…you swallow your silly, independent, stubborn pride, and ask someone else to climb on that counter (except at school…where I gave my students heart attacks by climbing on top of desks 9 months pregnant…)
After dealing with my reckless self, Mark takes no risks with his little girl. It drives the poor guy crazy when I let her sit knowing she’ll bonk her head and cry (babies’ heads bonk occasionally…I swear she’s fine). I think her cries hurt him more than me. That goober man would do absolutely anything to make her smile.
But the bestest way he protects her is not something physical at all. It’s himself. It’s awe inspiring how hard he works to improve himself and how much he sacrifices to be the man for her. The man she can look up to and depend on. A model for how her future husband should act.
He is our St. Joseph. A man who isn’t perfect. But a man who moves mountains (or climbs them) to protect his family.