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Father's Days. By Bob
The illustrated memoir of a first time dad.
I don't remember being anxious or scared of becoming a dad,
but I think that's because I was so sure nothing would go wrong.
You often imagine how you'd respond to an emergency situation.
We all like to think we'll cope with it like people do in films or on television.
I really didn't have a clue.
I've never been good with blood.
They told me I could say hello quickly before they took her away.
When I said, "I'm your dad,"
it sounded like an apology
The next few hours we're confusing.
We didn't understand exactly what happened,
just knew she was very ill and needed to be transferred to somewhere else.
My wife had to stay behind to recover from the surgery.
I tried to ignore how fast the ambulance was traveling.
When you see all those machines and tubes and wires and hear all the beeps and alarms,
that's when you realize it's a life or death situation.
The doctor was very frank with me.
He explained my daughter's condition was incredibly serious.
She suffered an injury to her brain.
At that point, I was beginning to realize how helpless and hopelessly out of my depth I was.
Once I got back to my room, all the emotions suddenly took over.
Cause dads are supposed to be heroes, aren't they?
I think I was expecting to have a baby and suddenly be transformed into this person who knew how to deal with any situation.
I had a family now that needed me.
We were all facing a huge struggle.
I just didn't feel strong enough.
When Cerebral Palsy was first mentioned,
my first thought was, "Well I don't really know what that is."
The parenthood I've been anticipating was gradually fading away
and was being replaced with lots of questions.
Eventually, she opened her eyes, and we got to hold her for the first time.
Although she was still connected to a lot of equipment.
We felt that she was finally connected to us as well.
When you've been in an environment like that with a new baby,
with so many doctors and nurses,
when you finally got home, it's eerily quiet.
There's no alarm to tell you if she's stopped breathing.
I don't think either of us really slept,
but things got easier.
Well, we got more used to it like all parents do,
and we were so busy.
Sometimes it's still really hard to deal with.
You have a lot of guilt and sadness about the situation,
but most of the time you're just astounded by what she's accomplishing
and focusing on how much fun you're having together.
When she took those first steps on her frame, we were all so excited.
There was always a big question mark over walking.
But quite often you found that when one question mark disappears,
another one springs out to take its place.
The process of drawing what happened has been really cathartic for me.
It's helped me realize just how far we've all come.
After all the complications,
the idea of having another baby was frightening,
but ultimately we realized that it was what we all wanted and needed.
My experience of fatherhood hasn't really been anything like what I imagined it would be,
but that's probably true of all dads.
I am definitely a different person now.
The whole thing about being a hero and knowing how to save the day,
I wasn't supposed to be the hero in all of these.
There are plenty of them,
the doctors, the nurses, the physios, the paramedics,
and my little girl who showed me what it really means to be brave and determined and strong.
She taught me that just being dad is more than enough.
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Father's Days: the animated memoir of a first-time dad

28060 Folder Collection
Angie Hsu published on August 7, 2015    Angie Hsu translated    葉子維 reviewed
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