Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Giving a gift: A Dad's Perspective

Today we gave Ben his first birthday present.

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I know he is only one-year-old, and he probably doesn't understand gifts, but it was something special to see his eyes light up when he realized we brought that funny green toy home from the shop. When we tried out this new walker / rider toy called an Okiedog at the Granville Island toy store, he certainly had a huge grin. He gave us that same huge grin when he got it home.

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He doesn't know it's his birthday, and he doesn't know all of the other surprises his mum has planned for him, but I'm sure he'll have fun like he did with his first gift. Getting gifts you weren't expecting are always the best gifts... like when my wife gave me my son.

I suppose I was expecting him -- by month 7 or 8 I had noticed my wife was pregnant -- but as a first-time dad I wasn't sure what to expect when he actually came out. I don't think any first-time parent knows what they'll think of their new baby but I'm pretty sure dads know less. Mothers have that special in utero bonding that happens... dads, well, we're just stuck on the outside waiting.

When Benji finally arrived, it was months of sleeplessness before I truly realized how much I love him and how much I love being a dad. I really enjoy newborns and the way they cuddle into you but that isn't love. Guys shouldn't be afraid to admit that they don't feel the full effect as soon as their child comes out... maybe some do, but I bet lots of others don't. It can take a while to sink in for first-timers!

So thank you, wife, for giving me the best gift ever. I think I like Ben's birthday even more than my own.

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9 comments:

Nat said...

Alex, what wonderful things to say about your wife and son. I think a lot of dad's (and mom's) would agree with you about falling in love with your child. I think it holds true for some moms too. I remember when my first baby was born, I loved her but it was in the process of finding our who she was and how I was that I fell in love with her. I found that as she gets bigger my love grows as she does.

Hope you guys enjoy Ben's birthday...he sure looks like he is!

September 8, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Marianne said...

SO amazing! How nice of you to write such a sweet ode to your family. The journey of motherhood is felt the moment you pee on a stick. Each move and wiggle of your unborn child is memorized and sacred. I can see how the fathers perspective is different. Amazing photography. Love each picture and the smile of your son. Bliss.

September 8, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Sarah Mauza said...

Alex, that was beautifully written. You and Andrea are amazing parents with so much love, devotion and insight. It's nice to hear a dad's perspective on becoming a parent and I know that John felt the exact same way when we were waiting for our eldest son Jack to come along. His words were almost the exact same, "stuck on the outside waiting". Your bond with Ben will become even stronger as he gets going in the next couple of years and wants to "hang with dad" and walk in your shoes. Enjoy it all, you really do become their idol. I love this site, you and Andrea do a wonderful job. Your pictures are fabulous and that walker contraption is BY FAR the most craziest thing I have seen for babies yet! Looks like Ben is already fully enjoying it!

September 8, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Auntie Glyn said...

Look at Benny's little boy face! We really can't call him Baby Ben anymore.

September 8, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Guest said...

Amazing post and so well worded and touching. The pics of the birthday babe are so sweet that my tooth is hurting.

September 8, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Rosa said...

I second what all the other above commenters have said. The first birthday is a special one and filled with so much memory of the year. Because there is so much growth and change from helpless newborn to a child who can feed themselves, have dislikes and likes, can play and is so much more independant. It is all those things we celebrate in this special birthday. Congratulations to you mama in the city.

September 9, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
harman said...

happy birthday to adorable benny!!! he is so lucky to have awesome parents like you and alex!!!

September 10, 2009 at 6:43 PM  
Mama in the City said...

We did enjoy it! Every time he sees the green cart he smiles with glee! It is too cute. I was happy

September 10, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Heather said...

Happy birthday to your baby. He will always be your baby. Something special about your first born. They made you a mother and that is special. This post made me tear up a little.

September 11, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

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