It was a Wednesday afternoon in March 2012, when I experienced shooting pains in my belly. We headed straight to the clinic for a check on our baby. Thankfully, the bean was okay. And to my delight, our baby finally revealed enough on the scan for us to know that it was a she. But M drew a blank when our obstetrician broke the news.
He wanted a boy.
No, it wasn’t because M wanted a son to carry on the family name. He has a fiery passion for football and used to envision taking his boy out for weekly games. He wanted to have a son who would hopefully be happy to share his life over a pint or two. But, those were not the most compelling reasons. M was concerned with having a girl as our firstborn; Overprotective Daddy here has always been worried about the emotional predators out there who might hurt his little girl. In his words, he would ‘break their legs if they broke her heart’ and he would really like it if there was a big brother in the equation, to help look out for his daughter. So, yes…M wanted a son.
My heart broke a little when I caught M’s lack of enthusiasm after the scan. Whatever joy I felt was swiftly sucked into a gaping black hole. I thought M could have been a little more upbeat, even if he was prematurely worried about his daughter. I mean, I am the Queen of Worrying and would surely be anxious about my little girl when the time comes for her to fall in love, but boy or girl, he or she is worthy of unadulterated joy.
M soon warmed up to the fact that we were having a girl and we did enjoy preparing for her arrival as the months passed. But a part of me just couldn’t forget that look on M’s face.
It has been an exhilarating yet draining couple of months. We are just beginning to ease into our roles as parents and learning to enjoy the littlest moments with our daughter. We just about managed to come up for air.
A few nights ago, M sat me down for a little heart-to-heart. It has been a while since we had time to pause and reflect. Then, something happened. Mid-conversation, he took a deep breath, and said, “I thought I wanted a son. How wrong was I. Faith is everything I could ever ask for in a child…and more. I cannot be happier.”
And that is when I realised this. That a father’s love runs like still water. That M’s love for Faith runs deeper than I could ever fathom. Knowing that his joy of being her father is pure and untainted…well, the black hole vanished. Just like that.