Henry was seventeen hours old. Red, downy skin and a tiny scrunched-up face. He looked just like my baby brother, except for the feet. Wedge-shaped with long toes. Daddy’s feet. The first time I saw them was the first time I realised we’d actually made him, between us.
Our first night had been endless and stressful – no sleep, a lot of fumbly breastfeeding and a spectacular choking episode just before morning – so at first light, I texted Timothy.
This boy just gave me the fright of my life. I need you here as soon as they’ll let you in.
He replied within a minute.
I’ll be waiting outside the door.
He was. I handed over the wriggly bundle, still shivery with shock, and Timothy sat in a chair with Henry curled up on his chest. He settled instantly, enviously. Something about Daddy made things alright. Maybe it was the matching feet.
These days, Henry laughs out loud when Daddy comes home. They have the best playtime and the silliest conversations. Daddy does the funny noises and the motorbike game. Daddy is the good-time guy, in short, which is okay because my motorbike noise is frankly not up to scratch. And let me tell you that there is nothing, no nothing so attractive as a man with a baby. I had four years to love Timothy as a person, then three more to love him as a husband. Loving him as a ten-month father just made the whole thing deliriously lovely all over again.
He says to me, this man of few words, I can’t believe how beautiful he is. I just love him so much.
Pretty sure the feeling’s mutual. Maybe it’s the matching feet.
Happy Fathers’ Day, Daddy-o.