Dad has just been through an emotional time. Initially I have always given gifts that reflect the birth. Plaques with names; a “scroll” defining the name of the baby; and, a combination of the birth announcement, and, any one of several remembrances, are good gifts for the new father.
As the child grows older, though, there are a couple of gifts that I was the recipient of, and, they meant a lot.
I don’t know to this day why this first gift was so important to me. It was picked up at a fair by my mother. It was a piece of wood with a heart carved out in the middle. In the middle was a string and on the string were figures. The figures were either male, dressed in blue, or, female dressed in pink. There were large figures for adults and older children; medium sized figures for younger children, and obvious infant figures for babies. On each figure was the first name of the family member. They all had very sweet smiles. Beneath the figures were the words “Bonded with Love”. I don’t know why, but the caricature really touched me. Somehow, it captured our family. The words were very meaningful to me because I, as many other fathers, wanted that for my family; to be “Bonded with Love”.
About three months went by. Of course my wife and I were very busy. Life was hectic, and, occasionally, nerves were frayed. One day our parents showed at our front door unannounced. Initially I was pretty irritated. We were usually very busy, and, company just wasn’t welcome; not even our parents. They didn’t really say much to my wife, they addressed me. “We want to give you a gift” they said in semi-unison. I smiled (it was a half-smile on the inside) and waited for the gift. I expected the usual trinket celebrating the baby’s birth or some plaque with a pithy saying. I was shocked when they said “We want to give you your wife back”. What? Give me my wife back? I just didn’t get it.
Finally my dad said you have reservations at the luxury hotel on Main for two nights. We will be taking care of the children. Your stay has been prepaid and we have also taken the liberty to make reservations at your two favorite restaurants on different nights. We have placed some spending money in this envelope. Now, both of you pack a bag and go!
I was dumbfounded. So was my wife. Initially we were both concerned since we had never been away from the baby but our folks wouldn’t take no for an answer. We left.
The next two days were wonderful. We got reacquainted. We laughed and talked; things that we hadn’t had time to do for over a year. The baby had been the focus of our lives. I had always been the focus of my wife’s attention, and, after the baby had been born, I had to share it. It wasn’t until we were alone that I realized how much I had missed her attention. Our parents were right. I had been living for a long time without my wife. I believe it was the most thoughtful gift I could have gotten.
If you have a new dad who is close to you, and, you are looking for that perfect and unusual gift, well, I guarantee that he is missing his wife.