Getting a Hang of This “Dad” Thing

Posted September 13, 2013 by jimhigley


I admit it. I had no idea what I was in for as I held my child – my son – during the first few minutes of his life.

It felt more like I was being handed the world’s most wonderful puppy. I could relate to a puppy. I had a few of them in my life. So this seemed more akin to a two-legged furry friend. Something- someone – I could love and play with (fade in images of flying kites in grassy fields) for years to come. Once the puppy phase passed, you know. Diapers. Sleepless nights. New smells. New noises. Chewing on furniture. The minutia of the world I didn’t understand.

Little did I know.

Little could I comprehend what I was really being handed in that 6 pound and 14 ounce swaddled package.

But I’ve come to understand a few things over the years:

  • I’ve come to understand the fear and helplessness felt when that child is so ill – when you’re waiting for medicine to kick-in – and all you can do is hold them, realizing that you need them as much as they need you;
  • I’ve come to understand pride – as you’re given the front row seat in another human’s journey through life;
  • I’ve come to understand the meaning of awe. In everything. From their peaceful sleep. To their brightest accomplishments. And perhaps – most importantly – when they rise above adversity;
  • I’ve come to understand the hurt of actions and words when emotions overtake communication;
  • I’ve come to understand what it feels like to forgive. And equally, to be forgiven;
  • I’ve come to understand joy – in the simplest of things;
  • I’ve come to understand the preciousness of time – and how quickly it slips away;
  • I’ve come to understand the importance of cheering loudly. Not for results – but for the effort;
  • I’ve come to understand that I can guide, help, counsel and suggest. But I cannot live another person’s life;

And I’ve come to understand that a 6 pound and 14 ounce package is far more work than a puppy. That’s because I’ve also come to understand that what I was given on that day – and on two subsequent days in my life – was a relationship.

An evolving, changing, fluid, and oh-so delicate two-way relationship.

Three of them for me. A very grateful me.

Each different. And each one as cherished as the next.


This memory is brought to you through my partnership with Kimberly-Clark during the months of September and October. It’s part of their Pick Up the Values Program– providing tips and ideas for parents to stretch their budgets.

Today’s memory is compliments of Huggies. Why Huggies? Well, it’s National Diaper Need Awareness Week! Stop by the Huggies website to become an Official Huggies® Tester by completing challenges and winning prizes. For every new challenge completed, Huggies Every Little Bottom will donate an addition diaper to a baby in need. How great is that? 

Stop by Huggies for more information. And be sure to visit the Pick up the Values website for over $40 of money-saving coupons.

And for daily tips and ideas, be sure to “like” the Pick Up the Values Facebook Page!

Rest assured, while I’ve been compensated by Kimberly-Clark for this story, the memory, and belief in their product is as real as it comes.