Of course I have to write about Mother’s Day.
June 13, 1993, my wife became a mother, and I became a father.
Almost eighteen years later, I can still remember those thirty-six hours as though they were yesterday. My wife had actually been due a couple of weeks before, but of course, nothing ever goes easy with us… So, the morning of June 12, we were at the hospital so Karen could be induced. Over the next thirty-six hours I watched at least three of the other couples from our Lamaze class come in, have a baby, and leave.
Yet, there we were.
It was a long night. Karen had to pee every hour or so. And, though the nurses were amazing, they were busy, so when we’d hit the button that indicated we needed help, well, it sometimes took a few minutes. But Karen had to PEE NOW! So there was a point where I took over bedpan duties. The nurses were amazing enough to bring in a lounger for me to grab a few minutes rest in, between contractions, pee breaks, fetching drinks and just keeping Karen company. And still I was exhausted.
I say this because, as exhausted as I was, I cannot imagine what my wife was going through, but if I had to guess, I’d take whatever I was going through and multiply it by a million.
It took thirty-six hours, but finally, finally, our beautiful little girl, Madison, came into the world. I took one look at her and forgot all about what both of us had gone through to get to this point. Looking at my exhausted and sweating wife, I said, “When can we have another one?”
I think it was only her weakened state that saved my life.
Nevertheless, in 1996, Karen was crazy enough to go through that whole damn insanity again. This time it wasn’t as bad…only thirteen hours (he says with with a rueful grin), and our son, Hunter, the second miracle of my life, was born.
There’s been a lot of challenges along the way, these kids don’t come with an instruction manual, but they do seem to come with multiple surprises built right in. My kids have grown up into fascinating adults with brilliant senses of humour and an incredible code of ethics for dealing with the world.
I like to think I added to that. But let’s face it…if it wasn’t for their mother, they never would have come into the world at all and they never would have had many of the experiences they’ve had, because their mother was the one that organized those trips and worked out logistics for small things like soccer teams to big things like the trip to DisneyWorld.
Being a mother is easily the toughest, and at times the most thankless job in the world. Being a father is easy…you’re there to back up the mother. And every mother makes mistakes, but, due to the nature of the role, any mistake is magnified and remembered.
This is the day we should magnify and remember all the good that mothers have done and continue to do. And not just the mother of my children, not just my Mom, but all the mom’s out there.
Thank you. I know there’s often times when you question whether you’re doing a good job or not.
Thank you for that.