Our family just adopted a cat, a first for us. Also, my wife’s best friend just had her 1st kid. It got me thinking of about new family additions and how while the gift of fatherhood will always be the richest, it still bothers me that I never received any special gift or acknowledgment from anyone who I perceived close to me in my life to celebrate me becoming a born again newborn dad. I feel it is a universal experience, something a boatload of other men go through.
Newborn dads aren’t given special gift consideration after they become a born-again newborn dad, despite the likelihood of them losing everything including the house and custody of their kids in New York State the moment the wife decides to leave him for an eventual in-house replacement dad. So, make a born again newborn dad feel less isolated, less depreciated and less taken for granted by helping him drink in the occasion of becoming a born again newborn dad, by doing more than giving an all-star addition baby bib, gift store flowers and semi-succulent, edible arrangements for his wife. Likes on Facebook for new baby announcement pics are nice. But what makes a born-again newborn dad feel extra special is a sumptuous, American made Bourbon with balls.
I’m reflecting on gifts for born again newborn dads because first, as I mentioned, we have a new cat, Woodstock. She was seen hitchhiking on Woodstock Street. Similar to 2 out of our 3 kids, this new family addition wasn’t planned nor was the new family addition proclamation received with too much emotive glee from our absentee out of state, baby boomer parents. My mom’s MEH reply via text to a video showing our new adopted cat scurry behind our couch in her new home as my now eight-year-old daughter’s eyes flicker with endlessly curious, anticipatory delight on par with her tingly embrace of her baby brother only illuminated what a sucky feeling it was after my 3 kids were born to never receive any special gift shout outs from my younger brother, parents and friends for becoming a born again newborn dad, which is a blown opportunity, imho.
In the end all my mom could muster to his once in a lifetime moment video from her Arizona estate home, was I’m happy for Matilda and your family. Translation, my 1st born identifies with sexless, isolated cat ladies on the Upper West Side. And I don’t see her oversharing at her Bridge Club about rebranding her son as a stay at home cat lady either.
And again, the other reason I’m reflecting on born again newborn dads is that my wife’s best friend just had her 1st child at the same hospital where she works in the NICU and Labor and Delivery for as the unofficial boob doctor whisper/lactation expert on breasting feeding. What’s unique about this born-again newborn dad is how he’s a divorced dad who has an 11-year-old daughter from his past marriage. So, he’s a born-again newborn dad with a new lifetime partner in love, reflecting a new lease on life.
What I’ve developed a heightened respect for since becoming a born again newborn dad 3 times over, is the fleeting specialness of that post-birth bliss in the hospital, as you bask in the glorious, picture-perfect sight of your new and improved seed with a full set of hair, thank God. Bursting with unlimited potential to outshine any baby boomer claim to fame because baby boomer parents don’t always know best. You do, because you know how it feels to be depreciated, taken for granted and talked to down by self-righteous authority figures, incapable of life-altering, introspection.
As a result, you dedicate your life to make sure your children received less of the same old situation and do everything in your power to ensure your children feel great about whatever their passionate about doing and never apologize for pursuing their bliss like Miley Cyrus next time she declares to her adoring female fans on Instagram, “You don’t have to be gay, there are good men out there.”
I agree Miley, that’s why I got my wife’s best friend, a bottle of 914 Bourbon in honor of his new son, born on 914, under my wife’s steady, loving guidance in the delivery room and beyond. It doesn’t matter how my wife had to fish for a thank you note of acknowledgement out her best friend on the behalf of her born again newborn husband, who I dropped the gift off for while holding my lucky number 3 born in the same hospital, instead of delivering my gift in person because they were sleeping in the 1st place.
In my wife’s friend thank you note, she called it a mitzvah. Technically speaking, a mitzvah is a commandment from God. So, in actuality, the gift was more an affirmation of Miley Cyrus’s assertion of better men being out there, who continue to deliver generous pours of love when the moment calls for it, despite feeling incredibly shortchanged in return.
Because fatherhood wants any good man, the opportunity to do better than before and nothing beats a newborn dad kind of love.
A version of this previously published on Do It All Dad