Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FEATURE - Primal Home - "Birth of a Dad"

Everyone knows women change when they become mothers. Special mothering genes awaken. They instantly develop superhuman endurance, saintly patience, and remarkable resistance to chronic sleep deprivation. Their ears tune to special baby frequencies and can distinguish between seemingly meaningless coos, gurgles, and blurps. Mothers read minds, picking up early on suspect intentions, and anticipating inarticulated needs. Women have it together where kids are concerned.

Fathers? We’re often thought of as well-intentioned but hopelessly over matched nitwits. We don’t know how to change diapers. We have no ready supply of baby food bursting from our torsos. We wipe our girls from back to front.

Never mistake competence for motivation, though. Fatherhood changes a man.

My first child and I were born together one night in 1996. I was there, watching the delivery, barely breathing. I saw my baby emerge. The top of her head, her shoulders, then all of her, suddenly, right before me. Her cries were a wonder, her little body and flailing arms, mesmerizing. The smell of her, the feel of her little trembling body, the sound of her small, plaintive voice - it all nearly overwhelmed me. I held her to my chest, and in that moment I was changed forever.

I discovered unconditional love. My heart screamed to me, “my life for hers!” It was a priceless, life-changing, priority-rearranging gift. In an instant I grew from boy to man.

Life enjoys irony. I had expected to remain childless. Now I define myself as a father. It’s who I want to be, how I choose to live. The needs of that tiny, fragile, innocent life washed away a lifetime of self-centered thoughts. I am better for it.

I don’t have breasts, but I have a heart and it grows, miraculously, as our family grows. Fatherhood has changed me, shown me what love is all about. I can’t imagine a world without my wife and beautiful children.

What a difference one little life can make.

Primal Home is written by the staff at Primal Parenting Magazine, a revolutionary new publication seeking to educate and empower families. For more information on Primal Parenting Magazine go to

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