Ask any person who does not have kids how their life would be different with a child, and I guarantee you their answer would be grossly inadequate. The reality of the situation is that no amount of planning or conceptualization can adequately prepare a person for what lies in store for them the moment they bring a small, helpless little human being into this world, and accept full responsibility for said human with all the seemingly endless duties which are inevitably attached.
The very idea of trying to support another life while still attempting to piece together my own, has always seemed so far fetched and distant that I could not previously even comprehend what would be involved in such a process. At this point in the game I have had just shy of 2 1/2 years of practice under my belt, yet I still find myself struggling with basic concepts such as “I should probably bring wipes and a change of clothes with me when I take my daughter out for lunch or assorted errands” and “Hey, its been several hours and I bet she would appreciate some food”…. The overwhelming deluge of responsibility is shocking and terrifying, and I thank God I am not the sole person responsible for keeping this child alive and well.
My saving Grace in this entire ordeal is my wonderful wife of nearly 7 years – although neither of us could have possibly imagined the amount of responsibility required to properly raise a child, we were both plunged in with equally inadequate training and resources. The difference, of course, is that she has absolutely thrived throughout the entire ordeal – whereas I have found myself lost and confused more often than not, my wife was able to smoothly transition into the role of caring, responsible and intuitive mother that one can only hope for, as a child. I have witnessed the sudden transition with such awe and respect that it has literally taken me all this time to come to terms with the awesomeness of it all – my beautiful daughter is quickly developing into a fun, intelligent and respectful human being, complete with all the internal resources which will prove valuable as she traverses the difficult terrain of life… While I have certainly contributed in my own way and enjoy a unique and profound relationship with my daughter, it is no secret that the key to my daughter’s inherent existence has been the omnipresent force of my loving and affectionate wife.
Tiara stepped into the role of “Mother” as if it were tailored specifically for her, and the astonishing ability for her to always anticipate the needs of our child continues to amaze me to this very day. If we are out to eat in a restaurant, she always has the perfect combination of toys to keep our little Ava perfectly happy and entertained. If we are in the car, she always knows which books to have on hand and what stuffed animals Ava needs to make her feel safe and content. Throughout the rigorous routine and constant turmoil, she also manages to figure out just how many snacks (of what variety) to have on hand to satisfy any potential craving. Oh, you suddenly dislike goldfish and want something more fruity, instead? Don’t sweat it – Mama packed gummy bears, just in case! Meanwhile, here I am on the side struggling to remember my own keys.
While I may have a lot of fun with my daughter, I am the first to admit that my wife is the only reason she has made it this far in life. My wife worries about whether or not Ava is going to fall down the stairs while we are playing stupid games, and goes to great lengths to ensure that doesn’t happen. My wife always has a backup dinner in mind, just in case Ava suddenly doesn’t want to eat her grilled cheese sandwich on that particular day. My wife remembers that it’s been two and a half hours since Ava last used the potty, and she ensures that we stop what we are doing to prevent an impending accident. My wife keeps an extra pair of clothes on hand for Ava, at all times, because she knows that we are going to be 2 minutes too late to the potty when it is absolutely the least convenient time. During all of this, my wife acts as if this knowledge and skill set was simply embedded in her DNA, waiting to be be unleashed on that fateful day that her first child came into this world.
Personally, I struggle every day to ensure I am the best dad I can possibly be to my wonderful baby girl. However, even on my best day, I would have a difficult time trying to handle a mere portion of what Tiara is able to handle on a seemingly endless basis. I feel as though I must apply a concerted effort to be a better role model and provider each and every day, whereas Tiara seems to have been born for the role of “affectionate and providing mother”.
In the past 2+ years, I have spent a lot of time considering what makes my wife such an amazing mother, and for a brief time I figured it was a natural reaction to having a child – in a similar way to how I instantly fell in love with my daughter once I met her in the real world (guys have a rather difficult time conceptualizing future emotions based on impending circumstances, as it turns out), I naturally assumed that most mothers developed an instant, permanent bond with their children upon their arrival. As a realist, living in a sometimes cruel and difficult world, I know now this is not always the case. In fact, it is often heartbreaking to witness a mother or father who fails to make a loving connection with their child, preventing them from fully embracing, protecting and caring for the individual to which they have given life to. On the contrary, I have come to understand that (no matter how easy she makes it look), it takes a considerable amount of effort, patience and Love to provide for a child in the way my wife provides for our daughter…. While I see the outside effects of such profound commitment, I understand the process is often painstaking and frustrating, and should never be taken for granted.
The reality is that not all parents have the ability or fortune to develop this unique and special bond, and those who do should be praised and respected on a daily basis. There is no magical moment in a woman’s life, which prompts them to suddenly become a great mother with the flick of a wand – rather, hard work, dedication and sacrifices are combined with trial-and-error and lots of good intentions, with the hope that the combined efforts will result in a healthy and successful human being in the end. Let’s face it guys – being a good mom is tough!
Mother’s Day is a special day for so many and for every happy and successful person in the world, there is often a loving and passionate mother pulling some strings and making sacrifices behind the scenes, often for little to no praise. I would like to take a moment to thank my wife for all that she does, on behalf of myself and my wonderful daughter, and of course to wish her a very Happy Mother’s Day in every conceivable way.
While praise and attention is not what she seeks, she must know she is worthy of it in every aspect of how she lives her life as a mother – I could not have asked for a better partner and I know my daughter could not have asked for a better mother. I love you, Tiara, I could not be prouder to call you my wife and the mother of my child and I wish you the best Mother’s Day, as well as the rest of the year and forever afterward.
It takes a special kind of person to raise a child – I thank God every day that I have that special person in my life, ensuring that I don’t screw things up too badly.