Father’s Day appreciation: Year 4

I have now been a dad for 1387 days. My Father’s day this year was amazing, because my little angels are now able to do things for me in addition to with me. Here is how amazing my day was:

– I woke up hearing my kids plan the big surprise. Nyal says to his sister Ryah “When we go in, you have to say ‘happy father’s day!'”
– I get breakfast in bed! Cinammon maple crunch and cheese bagels with tea. But my favourite part is the smiles and cuddles!
– Ryah, Nyal and I have a dance party where they let me play some favourite tunes like “Home for a Rest” and “Let’s go crazy”. Watching Ryah dance is a joy to behold.
– We go to a park and I watch my kids on the playground. Ryah adores her brother and wants to do every single thing he does. Nyal wins a raffle for a Watergun. He calls it a “water pew-pew”. I think he is figuring out that “pew-pew” is shooting. We quickly change the name to a “Water Squirter”.
– It’s bath time for the kids and I decide to join in. Three of us in a tub! We have a bit of a water fight. Both Nyal and Ryah like leaning against me and watching our toes!
– I realize I don’t have too much video of my kids, so I record Nyal and we ask questions about music, father’s day and what he likes about me. Apparently I am both ‘friendly’ and ‘nice’.
– I snuggle with my baby girl. She is pretty awake and so when I finish my 5th song and stop singing she goes “Momma?” (Yes, she still calls me Momma once in awhile, it’s a huge compliment) She wants me to keep singing. So I am randomly searching for more songs. I use Simon and Garfunkel, musical theatre, and Billy joel to help me as my voice gets hoarse. I watch her fall asleep and I think how lucky I am.

So how are things as a did now in my 4th year? Well, I am definitely much more confident in my approach, strongly opinionated in how and why I do things and I find it easy to give support and advice to those who seek it. I’m still pretty anal about analyzing every single detail of their lives.
“Oh Nyal can’t swim yet and he needs to recognize letters, but he can carry a melody, but what about his soccer, etc.”
I realize every time that I can relax and things will go fine. But I can’t help thinking that I am not doing enough. I want to teach him to read, to play chess, to sing, to dance, to explore the world. I also want little Ryah to not be ignored. I want to be the best dad I can be and give them all the support that I can.

I’ve also learned more about being in the moment. Nyal asked me “come over here, I want to show you something”. So I got up and went. I was on the computer for a brief moment and Ryah brought over her favourite book and commanded me with “Book!”. So I read her the book, then another and seven books later, she finally moved on. Whenever I heard “Daddy” or “Dada”, I try and respond right away.

With every Father’s day passing, I find it ironic how it’s meant to appreciate Fathers. Yet, I spend the entire day appreciating everything that I’ve got — two wonderful kids, a great partners, and family/friends.

I’ve noticed that Dads always have some sort of heroic element to them. The best dads have many elements of heroism. My own dad has incredible work ethic and a strong loyalty to his family. In my mind growing up he was a hero on many levels but those were a few that I always remembered. I wonder how I can be a hero to my kids? I’m not sure really. I mean I know I have fun with them and they probably think I am the strongest person alive, but how can I be more?

The last thing I will say about being a dad is that I think we are in our first ‘sweet spot’. Ryah is now moving, talking new words and the kids can play by themselves for many minutes without an altercation. We get to observe. It’s a great space to be. Now I get to see Nyal start JK and read. Ryah will start talking and asking questions. It’s going to be a great summer and fall.

I can’t wait!


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