Last Sunday I had a father’s feeling as I was dropping Sorin off at child care at church. Katie and I haven’t been to church much this summer and when we did, we often let my parents take Sorin so we could actually attend church without interuptions. Sorin doesn’t take too well to dad and (especially) mom leaving. So this week it was my week to take him to child care. As we walked in and got registered Sorin could see something was up. He started to observe everything and got timid right in my arms. We put his bag down and started playing a little bit. At the first sign of him interacting with one of the staff I bolted out the door. I went around the corner to one of the mirror/windows where I could see in but he couldn’t see me. As I watched him get comfortable I had a mix of emotions.
I felt really bad that he was alone without me. Sure, he was in good and caring hands. But he doesn’t know that. He was all by himself and trying to stay busy. He would start to play with something, but then somehow he would realize I wasn’t there and he’d start crying. It’s hard to see your son sad and alone, missing dad.
I also felt old. Sorin has grown up so fast. Wasn’t it last month that I was getting up at 4am to give him a bottle because he was relying on me for food? Didn’t we used to have hold him so close because he couldn’t even hold his head up? And here I was watching him walk and crawl on his own. Find a toy and play with it. Roll a ball and pick it up. He’s only 14 months but he looks like my little man!! So I watched him and thought of myself as an older dad.
Finally I felt pride. Here I am watching my son – my son! I feed him. I change his diaper. I put him to bed. I wake him and dress him in the morning. I rough-house him on the floor and carry him around the house. I push him in the stroller and carry him on my back. Now I’m watching him through the window as he grows into his own life.
What a great calling: to be a father.
(originally posted on Sorin’s Blog)