I’m staring into my son’s eyes. He stares back into mine. Dawn is breaking, a rosy hue arcs across the sky. All is calm. This was the parenting moment that was promised. My little guy’s eyes water as he looks directly into my soul. A solemn, peaceful moment between Father and Son. And then I realize. He is 100 percent pushing a fresh dook into my lap. He does not break eye contact. I do not break eye contact. Parenting milestone passed.
Transitioning from Dude to Dad has been made up of many tiny moments like this. Moments that barely register as you fight to stay alive, get sleep, feed yourself, and do all of the above for your child. Then the day is done, and you think back, “Did my son really drool into my open mouth?” “Did I really spend two hours last night omming like a Yogi to try to get a little person to sleep?” “How long was there barf on why shirt. That has to be a new record.”
But records are only records if there are record keepers. We document every moment of our child’s young lives and we should! First solid food, first trip to the park, first words, first steps! Babies developmental milestones and breakthroughs are joyful occasions to be celebrated.
But don’t forget your parenting milestones. The moments in fatherhood that are just as glamorous and amazing because you’re experiencing a first. The first week at work on three hours of sleep a night. The first time you walk down the street with the baby strapped to you like some sort of “Dad Parade.” The first time you feel a chest squeezing love as you hold your little one and realize, “Shit. I would die for this little booger.”
This week’s episode of Dude to Dad is all about those little moments. I broke down 100 of them. I wanted to celebrate them and to remind myself to hold eye contact and feel the warmth. Sometimes it’s not poop. It’s love.