Reflections on My First Father's Day

Written on June 17, 2014

“Having a child, it’s extremely expanding. Because you suddenly relate to everyone else on earth who has a child. No matter what race, class or creed.” - Paraphrased quote from Humans of New York

This year with the birth of my son, Noah I got to join fatherhood. And what’s described in the quote above happened; an experience that no one had told me about so it was completely unexpected.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and it was the first time I got to partake in it as a dad. I have to admit, it was kind of a weird experience for me. Perhaps it’s because my son can’t make me gifts made out of clay yet or perhaps because I just joined the club of fatherhood or that I’ve been on the end of being someone’s child for so long.

I think the best way I can describe the experience of Father’s Day for me this past weekend, is when someone calls you by your last name with a salutation and you think to yourself, “That’s not me, they are referring to my mother or father”. Like when someone calls me, “Mister Lee”.

Being a father on Father’s Day is a foreign experience for me and it made me reflect upon my own father. I remember when my sister and I were young, my father would tell us every year to stop getting him gifts for Father’s Day. All this time, I thought he said this because he didn’t want us spending his money for things he didn’t want. But a new perspective dawned on me this past weekend.

I think his request was partially that he didn’t care for the gifts or that simply being his children was a gift and a reward in itself – meaning he didn’t need any specific day to celebrate being a father because he got to celebrate it everyday.

If you don’t have kids what I say next might sound a bit weird, but everyday that my son simply does what he does is a gift and joy for me. Things like taking massive poos in and out of his diaper, making a huge mess when eating, resting in my arms as I bounce him to sleep or reaching out his hands and grabbing my hand to cram into his slobbery mouth. All these things that my son does everyday makes it Father’s Day for me.

With each new day, I am privileged and overwhelmed with joy that I am a father.

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