Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Post

When I met my husband in college, he was already teaching music in a little private school.  He continued to teach in various public and private schools until he joined the Air Force 7 years later.  He taught different grades at the different schools, and all grades at some of the schools.  He was good at working with kids of all ages and the kids loved him.  He was nominated for Who's Who Among American Teachers by a few different students during those years, and 11 years later many students still track him down to tell him how much they learned from him and how much he impacted their lives.

Obviously he was experienced working with kids.  He was not, however, experienced working with babies.  In the hospital after our first child was born, he was quite nervous about how to handle the seemingly fragile little bundle.  After I finished feeding the baby for the first time, I sat him up on my lap, put my hand firmly under his chin and leaned him forward to pat his back for a burp.  If you've had any experience with new babies, you know that their muscle tone is not well developed yet and his cheeks sagged over my hands.  If you haven't had any experience with babies, you might think what my husband gushed, "Oh my goodness!!  What are you doing??  You're choking him!!"  I laughed.  I did have experience with babies and tried to assure him that this was just one of many ways to burp a baby.  He was not buying it.  He only knew of one way, and if there were more ways, certainly they didn't involve my hand around the baby's neck.  A nurse came in to check our vitals.  My husband quickly pointed out to her what I was doing, sure that she would rush over and show me the proper way.  He was quite surprised when she assured him that it was a perfectly fine way to do the job.

I smile when I think about those first few days.  His protective nature as a father was evident right from the very start.  On the way home from the hospital, he kept making me check 'just to make sure' that the baby was breathing because he wasn't crying.  (He was sleeping!)  It was just a glimpse of what a great father he would be.

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