I’m a tall guy–six foot foot five to be exact. I get into awkward situations because of my height. I call this “tall people problems” (aka #tallpeopleprobs). On a regular basis my wife points out how most of my tshirts look tiny on me and when I go to my in-laws house I feel Gandolph in the Hobbit.
Well, I sort of had my first awkward tall moment as a father while at a BBQ with a Catholic community group we are involved in.
As we all circled around to say grace, I was standing next to a friend of mine that has five boys. As we got ready to pray I felt a quick tug on my shorts. It was as if a goat or small bear was hungry for my shorts. (because logically it would have to be one of these choices)
“Alert, your personal bubble is being invaded,” I thought. Finally when I got over my goat suspicions, I looked down to see a tiny hand clasping to my cargo shorts. Unexpected, I know.
I froze. All I wanted to say was, “Um… I’m not your father. You got the wrong guy.”
At this moment, I was at a cross roads:
On one hand if I tell the boy that I I am not his dad then I would likely scare him.
On the other hand, if I don’t say something and he hangs on to my shorts for too long I still freak him out. And worse, I look like a creeper in front of his parents. (By the way all of these thoughts happened in my head in matter of about 3 seconds. I’ve come to realize that this is the best way to make most “important decisions”.)
In my awkwardness, I think I blurted out “Uh… I’m not your dad, ha ha.” Turns out the child didn’t even hear.
Well, my voice is way above his altitude, like a speaker on top of the empire state building.
Within a few more seconds he let go though. And with that, I guess you could say that my first #RealDadMoment was over. It was awkward, funny and very dad-like all at once.
As I reflect back on this experience, it was kind of cool. It’s just a matter of weeks until I have a mini-me or mini-Nicole in my arms. Thanks to my wonderful wife, I had my first Father’s Day. And of course Dove Men+Care successfully made me teary eyed about becoming a Dad.
I am anxiously excited to be a dad. Now, anytime I see a cute kid, I have a grin on my face. I guess you could say that I’m ready for my real dad moments to begin… and yet somehow at the same time I feel unprepared (e.g. I still have to put the crib together).
But hey… that’s life, right? Awkward and bittersweet. At least that’s my experience.
Photo credit: Kristina Alexanderson