Happy Father’s Day to Bryan who was born to do this.
One of my enduring memories of Jonah as a baby will inevitably be our evenings during the week. The background details are never exactly the same. Sometimes it’s 7pm. Sometimes it’s almost 8. I could be lifting Jonah out of the bath into his plush dolphin towel, wrapped in the snuggliest of cocoons that only babies really get to enjoy. He is clutching a little cow bath toy maybe. Or I am standing harried at the kitchen counter- trying to bear the weight of 25lbs on one hip and with the other arm making a bottle and trying to remember all the measurements and parts while also swatting things from Jonah’s reach that babies shouldn’t have. But more than likely we are sitting in his little room. I am kneeling on the floor and Jonah is on the futon bed- being diapered/lotioned/pajamaed/read to. We’re in our little routine and I’m simultaneously trying to be cheery and pack a day’s worth of bonding into the one hour I know we have while trying to talk him down from his shrieks of indignation that I would wipe his bottom. Pull a shirt over his head. Clean an ear. The nerve of me.
And then I hear it. I always do and Jonah doesn’t and it makes it that much better. Usually I hear the downstairs door to our building slam. But sometimes it’s not until the key is in our front door. Turning. And Bryan walks in. And Jonah is still in the middle of some protestation to me or he’s reaching for books and toys. But then he gets wise to it. And he turns. And lays his eyes on Daddy.
And all of the sudden his grin stretches as far as his whole face and he waves his arms. He shrieks with the kind of crazed euphoria of a tired person. And then, because his little body doesn’t know how to contain all his joy, he starts to scoot his bum back and forth, legs outstretched, rocking forward. Furiously. Over and over. Faster and faster.
Daddy came home and the whole wide world is perfect.
And happy day to our dads too. The view from their shoulders was also the best.