What does fatherhood mean?

by Samuel De Lemos

Teaching my youngest
daughter how to swim, and
Making sure she kicks
Her legs hard, as she
Crosses the pool for
The very first time.

Then holding her
Reassuringly in my arms.
And telling her, “I’m
Proud of you”, and seeing
Her brown almond shaped
Eyes sparkle with delight.

It’s reading books with
My son about spiders,
And making sure he enunciates
All his words. And when he
Cries–rubbing his head and
Putting my fingers through
His hair. And saying, “your
The best reader I’ve ever heard.”

It’s cheering for your son when
He pins an opponent and videotaping
His every match; while getting up at 5:30
To practice wrestling moves, before
Driving him to school in the morning
Then picking him up in the afternoon.

It’s taking my eldest daughter
To her very first ballet, and buying
Her the sparkliest dress. While taking
Her to a fancy dinner, and letting her
Know how beautiful she truly is. Today,
I played volleyball with her, laughing
And goofing off until the warmth of
Of dusk brought us both in.

It’s buying my son his first
Writing journal with a
Handsome matching pen,
And letting him know how articulate
He is, “I think you’ll make a great
Poet someday son,
Write as much as you can.”

It’s going to work with my eldest boy,
And letting him know what a
Pleasure it is for me, to work with him
Side-by-side; and, taking
him on his first trip to college;
While, finally getting him enrolled.

It’s picking up my youngest boy
In the morning and
Squeezing him oh so tight,
kissing his neck and breathing
Him in, like it was my last
Dying breath on this earth,
Whispering in his ear,
“I love you so very much.”

It’s looking longingly at my
Wife and remembering how
Beautiful she looked
Pregnant, while I
Jubilantly anticipated,
Our next birth!