I found The Partner's first Father's Day in an old blog of mine. It went like this:
Last night The Partner did the most amazing thing. He walked into the banshee's lair, placed his hand on her writhing back, and lulled her to sleep with his presence. The incredible part isn't that she calmed down so easily; it's that he reached out. The gesture was a year in the making. His hands-on approach toward swapping out car engines or turbo-charging lawnmowers never extended to the day-to-day maintenance of a baby. What he wanted from life was simple: cars, trucks, boats, cable television and pie. He thought a wife to hand him the torque wrench and laugh uproariously at his jokes would be quite nice, too. At 27, he was sure he had a few more good years of buying toys and watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel before Father's Day would be anything but a celebration of his own dad's role in his upbringing. At 28, he realized he was wrong. Much petulance ensued.
When I told him I was pregnant and he was unenthused, I pushed it to the back of my mind with the ever hopeful "he'll get excited when I start to show and it becomes more real to him." When I started to show, I figured he'd come around when he felt her kick from within. When her kick made him jerk his hand back with an incredulous "it's like a God damned alien in there," I was sure that her birth would be the moment of true acceptance. Unfortunately, I was unconscious for that and cannot make an identification either way. All I know is that I came to and there was nothing to indicate that the bond I was anticipating had been forged. Until yesterday. Until Father's Day.
The Partner was adamant that he didn't want any gifts. So I didn't get him any. But we had what turned out to be a nice visit to his parents' house and, on the drive down, I laughed a lot. He likes when I do that and I guess, yesterday, it was as good for him as it was for me. At his parents' home, we conversed and ate and ogled the happy baby. Our dog drank too much water and peed on their carpet. The ride home was companionably silent.
After I nursed The Boss and put her in her crib, she was too exhausted to sleep. The air was thick with humidity and with dust from the inaugural use of our big box fan. I laid on top of the sheets in my underwear while she cried it out. I heard my husband at the top of the stairs and saw the hall go black. I thought the creaking floorboards would lead him to our bedroom, but the doorway remained empty. Suddenly there was only the white hot noise of the fan. Several minutes later he padded into bed. He set the alarm for 7:30 a.m.
"How'd you get her to do that?" I asked the ceiling as he laid on his back beside me.
"I just put my hand on her back till she fell asleep."
"Oh." A breeze that wasn't light or heavy rustled through the curtains. I thought, this is why I love the beginning of summer. Things you have been waiting for so long finally start to happen.