Guest post by Vince Bunuan
Note from Anne: I’m glad to present the first ever “dad” post to you all, which is just in time for Father’s Day. Read through it and you’ll find out why it’s worth 3 minutes of your precious time.
Being an “active dad” is the biggest joy of my life.
I simply love hearing our son tell my wife, “Mama, you are not as fun as Papa”! ☺ Sure, my wife was unhappy about this and I tried outwardly to comfort her, but deep inside I was doing fist pumps and high-fiving myself.
Once I got over the phase of wanting to be a fireman or policeman as a child, somewhere around middle school, I decided I wanted to be a father… not just any father, but some kind of super dad combination of all three of the pseudo-dads in “Full House”.
I did not want to be the overbearing and disciplined father as depicted by Georg von Trapp in “Sound of Music” who would summon his children with a whistle he kept around his neck.
And I further cringed at the perception of fatherhood displayed by Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, and TV dads who end up doing more harm than good when they get home.
I was resolved to do everything I could to be my wife’s equal or at least compliment with the parenting roles.
When our son was born, I happily got active with the diaper changing, putting him back to sleep, and preparing the milk. When he puked on me after eating that was ok. When he would pee on me when I was not fast enough changing his diapers, then shame on me.
I had embraced fatherhood and all of its “pleasant” surprises. How could anyone not love it?!?!
Getting our son to smile at something that I did and being able to pull from an assortment of facial expressions and sounds was always a treat. I would look upon others trying in vain to get him to smile, laugh, and even stop crying; eagerly waiting for my name to be called so that I could do “that thing” I would do to make our son cackle with delight.
I often came home from work, both my wife and I worked full-time, and I would go straight to our son and whisk him away to explore the surrounding neighborhood as we found new adventures, more things to climb, and numerous “secret passages”.
It was a great break from the grind of work!
I would daydream of what new costumes I would make with our son when I was at work out of the balikbayan boxes, in between balancing the office budget and analyzing company expenses.
Managing work and home became very similar: rather than having to run around the office making sure deadlines were met and projects completed; I had to hop and juggle to make sure dirty diapers were disposed of and spin to get the warm bottle of milk prepared.
We rarely wanted to leave our son and ignored nearly all phone calls in the weekdays and weekend.
We probably lost some friends, but gained more play dates and more family bonding time. Being together was like being unplugged from the rest of the world and being injected with the reality of life and how things can pass by if you are not aware to stop and look.
I love talking about our son and family and swapping stories with other couples more than talking about cars, stocks, and even occasionally, SPORTS.
I hate going to parties and having designated seats based on gender… the men sit in that table, the women sit over here. We all should be able to talk about parenting, why should the mom’s have all the fun!
Happy Father’s Day to all the “active” father’s out there!
Vince is married and a father to a 4.5 year old boy. His family recently moved to the Philippines in 2011 and he is constantly making quick observations on parenting, having lived on both coasts of the U.S. He greatly misses NFL, the 4 seasons of the East Coast, and college basketball games, but loves the running community of the Philippines.