As parents, we always gush over our babies’ big firsts. First Steps. First Words. First Sleep Through The Night. First Toilet Time. First Tooth.
They’re awesome. I loved every single one.
But you know what? There are more ‘firsts’ that, as a Dad of three, I love too. Things that make life a little more easy, a little more enjoyable, a little more fun.
The first time they look you in the eye and actually say ‘I love you too, Daddy’.
Oh man! They aren’t just repeating “I love you”. They made it a sentence. They made it a statement. One that shows – yeah, I heard what you said, and I agree with it and return the sentiment.
The first time they sing back lyrics from your favorite song, in the backseat.
For me it was ‘Not Throwing Away My Shot’ from Hamilton, The Musical. They requested the right track number on the CD and before I knew it – the lyrics were coming back to me from the back seat. Some of them may be muddled and the curse words are my family-safe substitutes I sing loudly, but there was the genius of Lin Manuel Miranda coming from the mouths of my kid.
Add in some sweet carseat dance moves and it’s a win-win for Daddy.
Made this old theater Dad tear up a little bit.
The first time they are able to push their hand through their sleeves on their own.
This may sound like a trivial thing, but it’s not. If you’ve never tried to put an infant’s arms into a long sleeve shirt – you’re not going to get this, but read on.
They, inexplicably, fan out their fingers while their hand goes through. Add to that, they make those sleeves extra tight so the kids don’t have loose clothing.
It’s like trying to squeeze a giant plastic octopus through a garden hose.
But when they finally figure out the ‘pull the fingers in’ trick – AH, changing time is like a dream.
The first time they run and hug you when you walk in the door from work.
Not the ‘hey Dad’ moment or the hug you get back when you give one to them.
This is the full-on run from the other side of the house and show – in a face of joy – how happy they are to have you back in the same personal space as they are in.
And you know what? That one never loses its power.
The first time they sit next to you on the couch, or at the stadium, and actively watch the ball game with you.
For me it’s the Yankees and Packers. For you, it’s most likely a different combo. I don’t know too many Yankee/Packers fans. If you are – drop me a line. Let’s start a Facebook support group!
They will watch whatever is flashing on the TV screen for most of infancy. But, when it’s a conscious choice to sit and watch – that’s the stuff. “Dad, who are the guys in gray?” “What’s a double play?” “Dad, why didn’t that guy catch it?” “RUN AARON ROGERS, RUN!!!”
In my opinion, you’ve never been a true sports fan until you pass it on. My grandfather was a Yankee fan and taught my mother. My mother taught me. Now it’s my kids’ turns. (I just hope they don’t rebel against my teams the way I did for my Dad’s NY Giants. – love you Dad!)
What about you guys? What firsts ring true in your hearts? Hit the comments.