June has been a baby blur. After spending nearly two months in the NICU and more than doubling their weight, my sister’s twin girls were released, and Finn was finally able to meet his tiny cousins! Margot is strong, squirmy, wide-eyed, and often sounds like a little porpoise; Sarah holds her delicate fingers out and open while she sleeps, and squeaks like a mouse when she cries. Finn is learning to tell the difference between them.
We’re working on other things — that the babies like GENTLE touches, that they DON’T want bites of tofu or to play with an airplane, that Mommy CAN’T sit and play when she’s holding one of her nieces — but Finn is fascinated by them, nevertheless, and loves to be near them. “Cousins cute,” he said yesterday with authority. He seems to be okay with the fact that he’s not the only cutie around these parts anymore, and that he’s no longer the baby. Still, as I told him tonight before bed, he’ll always be my baby.
On your first Father’s Day one year ago, I wrote about your hands-on approach to parenting and total dedication to our son. In some ways, not much has changed. You’re still Finn’s favorite comedian, his expert diaperer, an uncomplaining responder to his cries. You’re still there for Finn and for me — unconditionally. You’re still an amazing Daddy.
In other ways, however, so much has changed.
Our baby has become a 20-month-0ld little boy who runs, twirls, dances, climbs. You are his model.
He speaks in three-word sentences, draws circles, and identifies colors, letters, and stages of the moon. You are his teacher.
He builds pretend sandwiches, plays the air violin, has imaginary phone conversations, reads books to his sock monkey. You are his inspiration.
And like his mommy, he sometimes feels afraid of new things: the jitter of a room full of strangers, the splash of a cold pool, the peck of a baby bird’s beak. You are his helper.
Thank you for being the consummate father, partner, guide. I can’t imagine my world without you.