Every morning for the past 8 months I have woken up and at least one thing is the same as the day before and as the day to follow… I am a dad.
My wife and I received the incredible blessing of our little girl, Cori Rose Benn, at around 13:00 on Wednesday 26 February 2014.
Something I have always wanted to be is a dad. Since almost as long as I can remember I have be excited for the day that I would begin the incredibly journey and be granted the indescribable responsibility of raising a child. The moment I saw and held my daughter for the first time is something I will never forget, but in the past 8 months I have come to learn that my understanding of what I had started then was but a fraction of the true picture of fatherhood.
In the past 8 months I have learnt that to be a dad:
- Is a 24 hour, 7 day a week, life time commitment – there is no return policy, no off button, no skip function. I have amazing friends and family that give my wife and I a chance to get away every now and then, but I’m still Cori’s dad, regardless of where she or I am. Everything I do has an impact on her in some direct or indirect way. I constantly need to remind myself that who I am at work, or around friends, or at church, or when stuck in traffic is the same person I am when I play with, feed, change, or comfort my daughter.
- Is freaking hard work – as much as I love it, I cannot deny that it is easy. Being a dad takes physical, emotion, spiritual energy. It means not only meeting the needs of my daughter, but meeting the needs of my wife as we raise our kid together. But like a lot of things in life this is hard work that is rewarding. Even now I know that my commitment to put my little girl (and my wife’s) needs ahead of my own is shaping her to be someone who will hopefully make a lasting, positive contribution to our world.
- Is a team effort – I am not a good father, or even just an okay one, by my own efforts alone. I am the product of my heritage, my endevours, my friendships, my family – just as Cori will be the product of hers. I hope I will make choices that surround my little girl and my family with an environment which will nurture and challenge and shape them.
I wouldn’t trade being a dad for anything. Really. It is a calling that I know God has placed on my life and a task that He is equipping me to do well. To be dad is a privilege and an honour and a huge responsibility and it is the greatest task I will embark on in my life time.