This is another entry into an on-going series through the year. The previous entry can be found here.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day, so I figure I should write some thoughts as we go into the weekend and I celebrate my first Father’s Day as a father.
You would be surprised how many people would contend that statement, that I’m a father right now even though the child is yet to come from the womb. People on both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice issue would argue whether that statement is true.
We already had to handle this issue earlier this year on Mother’s Day. I personally hadn’t given it much thought but my wife wanted to celebrate it. I quickly saw that if I wanted to be consistent with my pro-life view in calling the child a human in the womb from conception, then, yes, my wife is a mother now. She may not be changing our boy’s diapers and giving him baths, but she is eating healthy and exercising so he can grow and flourish. She is making decisions now that will profoundly affect him when he is ex utero.
Now one might grant that my wife is technically mothering now, but what am I doing? I’m not disciplining him or teaching him or doing anything to make his life better. True, at most what I’m accomplishing now is working and providing money to buy baby things and health insurance. However, I’m also taking care of the baby’s mother and making sure she’s healthy and safe so that he will be healthy and safe. Aside from these things, if we follow the logic that my wife is a mother now then it must follow that I am a father now. We don’t have to go on Springer to determine this.
So tomorrow we’ll celebrate a quiet Father’s Day, one day closer to our son’s arrival. If nothing else, the day will remind me of the responsibility I have now and the ones I will be taking on. On the threshhold of our son’s birth I recognize the weight of fatherhood that I never noticed or acknowledged before now. Rather than ignore my role as a father I need to embrace it and dwell on everything it entails.