I'll be the first to admit that I was never one for these Hallmark holidays in the past. The vast majority of the time these 'days' usually catch me off guard and I'm left scrambling to the shop in anger to pick up a card, flowers and a box of chocolates while muttering "fuck sake". To be honest, if you had asked me the date for Father's Day, I would have drawn a blank. I only knew it was on the horizon after Erin was born when a family member mentioned it.
So, when I knew for sure it was Sunday the 20th, I began to look forward to it. Whatever "it" might be. This was my first Father's Day, I don't know how this works as "the Dad". When I was a kid, we'd usually give my Dad a card, wish him a Happy Father's Day, might throw the rugby ball across the road as many times as we could before a car drove past us (Used to really piss off the neighbours when you'd try and get the last pass in). Then my brother and I would make ourselves scarce and let the auld fella watch the telly in peace and sleep in his chair.
Watching the telly in peace for him involved me not lashing a football off the other side of the living room wall as I aimed to get my "Not letting the ball hit the ground" record. What a game that was.
Mother's Day we'd always get Mam a gift. But thinking back to the gifts we gave her did fill me with dread. My brother and I once gave my Mam a set of kitchen knives for Mother's Day. We were not old enough to use said knives just so you know.
We wrapped them in wrapping paper and on the morning of Mother's Day handed the gift to her in bed.
Now, in our haste to wrap the gift. We forgot to secure the knives in the block. My mother sat up in the bed, we handed her the gift and next thing 7 new and freshly sharpened knives flew out of the wrapping paper at her.
That wasn't to be the last time my brother and I would nearly give my Mam a heart attack.
Anyway, my experience of these "days" are all from when I was a kid. That 6 - 10 years of age time. What's it going to be like with a newborn? I know Erin is a bit of a wind-up merchant but she's not able to hold a knife yet.
My plan for Father's Day, in my head, was just to spend the day with my girls. Simple stuff really. But credit where credit is due, Ruth made it an incredibly special day.
It started off with a lie-in. Well to 10 am which in parenting terms is like sleeping to 3 pm after you got in from that "I'm only having one" sesh with the lads at 6:30 am.
Then I got breakfast in bed. Eggs Benedict before you ask. Fucking delicious I'll add to that. A lovely coffee then to wash it down. Then Erin was lying on my legs entertaining me with her smiles. Indie, my other child, crept up the stairs for a cuddle. If only every morning started like that.
Then we went for a walk as a family, got a Four Star pizza and Erin got me a few cans of Murphy's to relax with for the evening.
How I felt
Throughout Father's Day, I tried to actively notice how I felt, with it being my first Father's Day. I've only been a Dad for 13 weeks so I'm only going to assume as the years roll on that I feel an even more powerful love for Erin and a responsibility as a Dad.
As Erin fell asleep lying on my legs, and as I watched her sleep, I said to myself; "I love her so much, this little person. I just love her. I'm her Dad".
This may sound odd but I can't tell you why I love her. I just know it and feel it. It's not like when you're an adult and you meet someone and go "I love their sense of humour, how caring they are etc."
Erin for all intents and purposes does nothing when you look at it practically. However, she gives so much more that hits deep in the chest. In Erin, and in everyone's baby, there is an innocence, a curiosity that just emanates love. It's hard not to fall for their innocent charm. They know nothing else except to live in the moment and they're relying on you to help them survive, thrive and live.
As a Dad, looking at Erin on my first Father's Day. I felt a mixture of overwhelming love, pride and a duty to make sure that she has the best life we can provide in all aspects of that.
When I got my first Father's Day card, this really hit home for me when I saw the outline of Erin's hand. (To be fair it would be asking a lot to have a signature at 13 weeks old). Ruth was calling me a big wettie mind you when I wiped away a few tears. I want to give that hand every opportunity to grab what she wants out of life.
I loved my first Father's Day, I was spoiled rotten and it was more than I thought it would have been. I can't wait for Father's Day next year and years to come as we grow as a family.
I think the outline of the hand is going to be a tradition! And the Murphy's... definitely the Murphy's.