Fatherhood: A Messy Joy
This article originally appeared on Fathers for Good.
With an active infant at home, my wife and I have few moments for deep reflection. Life has been a long series of “in-the-moment” tasks as we respond to the needs of our newborn.
Still, I would like to reflect on my first Father’s Day this past June, the day I earned my fatherhood stripes and learned a lesson for life. I woke to the piercing cries of my son and rolled out of bed to heat up some milk. Following our normal ritual, I flipped on the TV to the morning news station. When the milk was properly heated, I carried my son to a chair in the living room and settled in for his morning feeding. Everything about that day was normal, until my son finished the bottle of milk.
I lifted him on to my chest to burp him, and he began to spit up all over me. Even the burp rag I had strategically placed on my chest couldn’t contain the overflow of warm fluid. When I had recovered from the initial shock, I cleaned up and settled back into the chair. I began to rock my son and pat him on the back when he erupted with more spit up. Once again, his clothes and mine were soaked. We changed yet again, and then sat back down in the living room to catch the rest of the news. But my son wasn’t done. He spit up a third time, creating yet another sticky mess.