Someone once told me that one of the best things about having a child was how it makes you fall in love with your spouse all over again. Just like everything else you are told before your first child is born, this is something you can’t fully understand until you hold your baby in your arms. Watching Alex fall in love with Julia has changed the way I love him. Don’t get me wrong, I was madly in love with him when it was just us, but witnessing him transform from a man to a father has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I know that the bond he and Julia has is different than the bond I share with her or him, alone. Their relationship is uniquely theirs, and will always be a private intangible thing that no one else will ever be able to duplicate. Sometimes I feel like I have been given a secret gift; a private front row seat to something priceless…this journey of their relationship. This is something I didn’t anticipate as I daydreamed about my unborn baby, and the surprising joy it has brought me is something I cherish everyday.
We don’t usually do much for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries in our house. We always recognize them, but we typically don’t do big gifts or plan anything super fancy. Our favorite way to celebrate is just by setting time aside for the specific day and doing whatever we want all day long – whether it is breakfast out, or a walk to the Java House followed by some window shopping in the pedestrian mall, or having a low-key day in general. We have found that it doesn’t really matter what we do – just as long as we spend these holidays together. With Father’s Day this coming weekend and it being Alex’s first as a new dad, I knew that I wanted to do something to celebrate him.
Not knowing what I wanted to do or how I wanted to celebrate Alex, I logged onto Pinterest and simply searched for “Father’s Day Gifts” and was lead to a number of websites with different DIY, gifts, and photo ideas. I’m not a self-proclaimed DIY-er, so I browsed a few of the photo ideas and settled with a fairly easy and homemade gift for Alex. Julia and I packed our things and ran to Michaels is search of wooden “A” and “D” letters and then headed to the Pentacrest for a mid-morning photo shoot. While this gift idea is nothing brilliant and has been done a number of times – I love how it turned out.
I took these photos during Julia’s naptime. Bad idea. Also, has anyone else noticed the gnat problem in Iowa City? In between switching out the letters and trying to get Julia to look at the camera, I was also avoiding these giant swarms of gnats. Despite all that, we have one picture of Julia being her happy and smiley self, another of her being very focused, and another where she is showing her disapproval. All sum Julia up perfectly. When Alex has his someday law office, I hope he can hang this on his wall and be reminded that he has a daughter who thinks the world of him.
The best part about this Father’s Day gift is that we can update it every year. The second best part is that it was under $15.00! We picked up the wooden letters for $5.48, scored free photo prints at Costco, and found a frame at Kohl’s for $8.00!
How are you celebrating the dads in your life this year?