All Photos © 2012 Ash Adams
I always knew that Brian would make a great father; after all, he's a really great person, both infinitely patient and kind. And good with babies! Brian, I will admit, taught me how to hold Elliott, not the other way around. And of course, his good fathering started before Elliott was born; throughout our pregnancy, Brian was the most supportive husband (even though I was not always the best pregnant person). Brian cared for Elliott when he was just a faraway dream, talked to him through the walls of my stomach, and played tag with his feet. As he grew, Elliott responded more and more to his voice even from inside that ballooning belly of mine, and when Elliott was born, Brian was the first person Elliott saw.
I say all of this, knowing that the U.S.'s cultural attitude toward parenting is often very polarized; the argument goes something like men "just aren't as good with babies" and so the responsibility rests solely on mothers (this often dwindles into some theoretical-yet-biological discussion that's full of holes) or women are just more natural nurturers (also full of holes). It's true that the majority of the birthing process is incredibly unfair; women grow, carry, and birth their babies and then feed their babies from their breasts (if they choose) for a year or two after that.
But for fathers like Brian, I feel that it must be noted that this imbalance also slights them a little; I am often the only one who can soothe Elliott--sometimes the only thing in the world that he wants is to nurse. And for all of those months during pregnancy, I could tell Brian everything that Elliott was doing, how he was feeling that day, what position he was in, but I carried it around with me like a knowing. I'm not going anywhere with this in particular, except that sometimes I ache for Brian; even though pregnancy was emotional and rough at times and breast-feeding can be time-consuming, there are times that I would love so much for him to know what all of it is like from this side of things. (It's pretty great.)
That said, Brian's fatherly intuition is his own kind of knowing; the bond he and Elliott share is very different and separate from me, and I love watching it bloom. Elliott follows Brian with his eyes all day long, laughs and smiles when he enters a room. When Brian smiles that bright, big smile of his, Elliott just can't get enough. He has special coos that are just for Brian.
Brian is an amazing husband and father; he is engaging, loving, and so very patient, and he dreams for Elliott the way I do. We cannot wait to see what he dreams of, what he decides to do in life, where he chooses to go. I am so very blessed to have such a partner and such a father for my son. (No blog post could ever say it enough.)
Happy Father's Day, my love!