When Katie Rose was born she weighed less than two pounds. She’s still small for her age, and likes to fit in small spaces like the bathroom towel storage shown in the photo. Proving that size isn’t everything.
The biology of fatherhood isn’t everything, either. I occassionally joke around with Phyllis about our kids—“What did I have to do with them?” Being a DNA provider is often a brief matter and hopefully enjoyable. I keep in mind the Shakespearean conceit that if the parents had a good time conceiving, the child is likely to be of happier disposition. In King Lear the villainous Edmund therefore describes the “lusty stealth of nature” as providing more “composition and fierce quality” than a “dull, tired, stale bed.”
My point is that Phyllis did the tough work of pregnancy, and does a great deal of the grunt-and-scut work of day-to-day parenting around the house.
Fatherhood is more volitional. There are men who are great father figures to kids with whom they have no biological connection and—the opposite side of the coin—biological fathers who completely abandon their kids.
True fatherhood is a state of mind. Personally, I love being a father. It is the toughest job in the world—or second toughest after being a mother—and also the most rewarding!