Coming back from Vermont a few months ago, we ran into a child not much older than Valentina while we were waiting for our flight. At the time, Valentina was not walking yet but this child was. As she was running around, bumping into Valentina’s stroller and everyone else, I exclaimed, “Oh shit! They walk too?!” The father of this running child laughed at my remark, more than I thought fit the level of humor, and we both made eye contact and continued on our way.
Like two Jeeps or Harley Davidsons passing each other on the road, new fathers acknowledge one another. We have an unspoken bond – an urge to sympathize with each others’ situation and make jokes to ease the pain. As I said in my About Me page, I really think that men are not biologically fit to raise children.1 Mothers have the patience and stamina to manage a mini-human that can’t efficiently express its needs. The real superpower that mothers have is the ability to not give a shit while their children go crazy in public places. I wish I could do that. Valentina is a well-behaved baby. That’s not me talking, everyone tells us that.2 No matter how good she is though, as soon as she makes a sound louder than the ambient noise, I go into Defcon 1 – crisis lockdown mode. My wife: nothing.
It is that kind of trial by fire that brings the dads together. We have been to the beyond, chased the dragon and barely made it out. We are making it though, and are still in the fight. It is for that reason we acknowledge each other. Making eye contact and a simple nod really says:
“I got you bro, hang tough. These things do start walking and it only gets harder.”
Happy mother’s day to my wife and all of the mothers. Thanks for getting us into this shit. 😜
- I AM NOT saying that it is not a man’s job, it’s just harder
- Including that woman on a flight from Orlando to Baltimore who said, “I don’t really like babies, but yours was great.”