When I was a little girl, I had trouble staying inside the lines when I colored. My dad told me that only idiots let the lines of a coloring book confine them, and since, I've carried that with me to apply to every facet of my life. Dad was right.
When I was seven months pregnant with Luke, I asked my mom if she wanted to be in the delivery room. She said, yes, of course, and I said that I figured dad wouldn't want to be there, but she could ask him. To my surprise, my dad said that yes, he did want to be there. At the time, I was surprised, but I should've known that my dad would want to be there for me, just like he always has been.
Having my dad there for the birth of my son was one of the beautiful, most special moments of my life. During my labor, dad kind of stayed in the background, perhaps unsure of what to do with all the women swarming around me. But he did so much, in his dad way. After I'd been laboring all night with no signs of stopping, he went to McDonald's to get breakfast for my doula and everyone else. When he got back, he discovered that the hospital was holding a bake sale. And so, after Luke was born, he snuck downstairs and bought a chocolate cake to celebrate Luke's birthday.
When Luke came into this world, my dad was standing behind my midwife and laid eyes on him even before I did. After Luke was born, my mom and Shane both were like SEE YA LATER and flocked to Luke's side. As I was being stitched up, my doula held one hand, and my dad held the other. My dad slyly looked at me and said, Sooo... when did you get that tattoo? See, my dad doesn't like tattoos, so mine has been a secret since I got it at 19. I said, "Mom knew about it!" and we all laughed and he lovingly teased me. While I was getting stitched, he still held my thin hand tight in his big one and talked to my doula about how beautiful Luke's birth was. Having just given birth, I didn't think my heart could get bigger, but it did.
To this day, if you ask my dad about Luke's birth, he will talk your ear off about how amazing it was, how beautiful every single part of it was, and how he thinks everyone should have such a beautiful, peaceful birth. And if you ask me about it, well, I'll tell you the same... but I'll also tell you that I am forever thankful that my dad could be there.