Becoming Daddy

I've always thought Nate would be an awesome dad someday. He's great with kids, and half the time we went to hang out with our friends the Phillips, he usually spent more time playing with their two little boys than sitting around with us boring adults.
Sledding with Joe
He's always been pretty open about how he prefers kids to babies, because newborns make him feel uncomfortable. I think that's pretty normal though, and I know I'm still not 100% comfortable with newborns- they just seem so fragile! So I think he worried that it would still be a little hard for him when we had our own, too- at least until they grew up a little.

I started to feel better about babies when I met my niece Traci for the first time. [I'd held my other niece and nephew right after they were born, but I don't think that as a 12 year old I was thinking about this stuff too much. Plus, they were uber-swaddled and therefore pretty safe to handle.] I was excited to hold Traci, but also a little nervous. She was just so small! But I couldn't resist that pretty little face. After holding her the first time, I never wanted to put her down.
I remember that it took Nate a day or two before he would hold her. I offered her to him once, and he simply said, "no thanks." I didn't think too much of it- I knew he would when he was ready.

And when he did, it was love at first sight.
I don't know what he's laughing about in this photo, but I will never forget how Nate looked at her when he first held her. There is nothing more attractive in a man than seeing him play with kids or hold a baby. All you see is "Awesome Future Father." And I totally did. Even if he wasn't sure how he'd do as the father of a little baby, I was. He would be the best.

Later that night we talked about how much fun it would be to have our own kids someday, so I knew he was feeling better.

Now he is the beloved favorite uncle of both Traci and her little sister, Carmen. When we all get together, Traci wants to play with Unta Nate the whole time. And Carmen's sweet little face brightens up every time he smiles at her (sometimes I suspect it may just be the beard...) and Nate absolutely loves his little nieces. Sometimes I think he even seems more comfortable chillin' with Carmencita in his lap than playing with the toddler. Maybe subconsciously it's because he knows his own baby is on the way?
This ain't a guy who's uncomfortable with babies.
Anyway, it's been fun for me to get to watch Nate grow used to the little ones. I've always known he was good with kids, and I've always suspected he would be fine with babies- but now I have no doubt. And I'm so glad that he is the father of my children, because I couldn't think of a better role model for them. Nate is fun, silly, adventurous, intelligent, and kind. He is respectful. He is giving, patient, understanding, and forgiving. He loves his family. He loves to teach and explore. And he takes very good care of his wife.

Our little guy hasn't even been born yet, but I think one of the greatest parts of becoming a mother is watching my husband become a father.


Kelsey said...

Isn't that the best? Ken was definitely the same way before Jared, but now he sometimes is better than I am at babies! (no jealousy, just gratitude)
I'm so excited for you, Beth!

Francesca said...

What a very sweet post! I totally agree.