Friday, May 9, 2008

Learning How to Be a Good Dad

I know, it doesn't look like much: just a bear lying on a pillow.

But if you had seen how lovingly placed this bear was, heard how Owen crooned, "That's Mama's pillow, and this is my pillow, and this is yours, White Bear," you might feel that it was much, much more.

It reminded me of a day years ago, when we went to the store to find a doll that would wet in order to help Luke potty train. Dolls - especially dolls purporting to be 'for boys,' without the pink and frills - are stupidly expensive; in fact the only one I found that wet for less than $85 was the pinkest, frilliest one on the shelf.

I carried it towards 3 year-old Luke and his Daddy in the store, and the reaction on their faces as they saw it was comically different: Luke, holding out his arms, joyfully shouting "oh! It's my baby! My baby!" and Ben, shaking his head frantically and mouthing, "No frigging way!"

Well, we bought that doll, and in the 4 years since both Luke and Owen have cared for her with a tenderness that continues to surprise me. Sometimes this gentleness is short-lived, the baby discarded for me to find later, all her pink accessories scattered on the floor among the dinosaurs and Star Wars stuff.

And then other times I'll come upon her lovingly placed into her pink sleeping bag, pink toy bear beside her, pink pacifier in her mouth. And just like when I saw Owen's bear this morning, I'll think to myself what great dads our boys will be someday.

1 comment:

Dana @ Our Sunny Side said...

What a sweet post! Several of our friends have only boys. Inevitably they are pulled towards my daughters dolls. Timidly at first but they each take a turn experimenting with holding her and feeding her. They look with amazement at her face and hands. It's very cute.

Karen- thanks for your nice comment. I enjoy your blog and am always interested in what you have on your mind. I'm glad we met.