Every time I successfully get baby off to sleep, after I've rocked him and sang to him and done the whole please-go-to-sleep-come-on-I'll-do-whatever-you-wish-oh-great-baby-master dance, and waited ever so patiently for the telltalle signs of deep sleep, including the limp limbs and calm breathing, and I've gently set him down and ever so slowly taken my hands off of him and stepped silently away like some kind of ninjitsu-daddy, I always feel like I've just successfully defused a bomb. The sweaty brow, that feeling like I've been holding my breath for the last half hour, the rush of relief, the whole thing.
Seriously though, it hasn't taken long to start developing an appreciation for what parents are always talking about when they talk about the satisfaction that comes with raising a kid. Mine is just shy of two weeks old, and already, I get this incredible feeling of accomplishment and elation any time I can just do something right for him. Anytime I can figure out why he's crying, any time I can calm him down, get him to sleep, get him to follow a brightly colored object across his field of vision, I feel like, "That's right! I am DAD, dammit!"
Of course, the other side of that is when I can't figure out what his problem is. I just feel like a total fraud, like what the hell is society doing entrusting me with a child. I know that's ridiculous, especially when you consider some of the freakshows out there that are allowed not only to reproduce, but to raise their children, but the feeling still pops up. And as the years go by and little Henry's problems become more complex, the kind of thing that mom and dad can't just fix, I'm going to have to learn to go maybe a bit easier on myself.
But for now, I am Dad, and dammit, I can deal.