We joked about it, “what if you would’ve gotten pregnant the first time we had sex?” he asked me, as we reminisced about our first time back in high school. My first time ever. I laughed out, “I would’ve been too scared to ever have sex again!” I rubbed my now 9 month pregnant belly, smiled and continued driving home. I was 15 and he was 17 when we met approximately 13 years ago which would’ve made us teen parents. We began our love journey then, which is now culminating in this extreme realization of our love in the form of our first child together. Baby August. This Father’s Day marking the very first time he will celebrate his fatherhood, despite the many instances before this that he’s embraced this role.
A few months after we began our relationship we thought it was a good idea to raise a puppy together. We found this beautiful, black Shar Pei with pointed ears who mildly resembled a piglet. Through sleepless nights training her, many bathroom mishaps and taking turns to care for her on the weekends, this little dog had taken up a huge space in both our hearts as our baby girl. She inspired us to ferociously care for more and more animals. She slept with us every night and when I thought about how we were raising her, I felt proud to be a doggy mommy.
Before Benji, we fostered a dog named Luna about 6 years after Naila and again for 2 months our patience was tested as we trained her but we prevailed and it was a bittersweet day when we sent her to the greatest home.
After some bumps and bruises and from what it seemed like multiple times of Naila being the glue that kept bringing us back together, we decided to get another dog (& a house). He found his little twin in Benji Jr. or Benjabub as I like to call him. Naila would soon have a brother, a companion. Benji was the complete opposite of her, sensitive and needy, apricot fur and hazel eyes.
The way this man cared for these two creatures wouldn’t hit me until I became a single mom during a hard break up between us, one we both thought was permanent. When we became two friends who needed each other, we realized as hard as it may be that we would help and support each other no matter what. But we had a new human in the picture, Mr. Mehky Cincere.
He has been the best dad to this little boy that is humanly possible. Even making sacrifices that many men would cringe away from… Losing sleep, waiting forever at a dinner table in a restaurant while I nursed him in a bathroom, cutting dates short to pick up my infant, and then just dealing with the questions and curiosities of people who can’t seem to leave good enough alone.
I said to myself, “if this is how he is choosing to be with my son, I can only imagine how he would be with his own.” Then I stopped. He had his own, for years of caring for our dogs had groomed him, then Mehky had brought out his fatherly spirit and the journey of our love could only be stopped by ourselves or by the hands of time.
Baby August may be our first “child” together but he is certainly not our “first. ” (Sorry Augy!) This is officially his first Father’s Day but I’ve been celebrating his fatherly role for years. Why? Because cultivating, supporting and commending a fatherhood like his in whatever shape or form is necessary in a world where men are scared to love and to love other beings more than they love themselves. I can see it in his eyes when he smiles at me and asks how August is doing. I can sense it in his soul when Mehky showers him with hugs and dada kisses. I can hear it in his voice when he playfully calls Benji and I can tell in his touch when he rubs our 13 year old Naila as she grunts and breathes. He is a father in every way imaginable and I’m so grateful to have been able to see him transform from a teen into a man, from a bachelor to a father. I never wanted it any other way. He is loving, caring, supportive, aspiring, gentle, playful, and he is there every day and every night. Thank you for being the amazing man my two boys will always look up to.
Thank you for being a father. The world needs more dads like you.
Love you always!