Becoming “Abah”…

I am, by no means, an expert on my child. Bo is a creature of unpredictability, she’s lovely and charming and down right unique, all things I am very proud of. It has taken me the past 12 weeks to be able to read my daughter (I stopped reading “baby books” around day 2), and just when I think I have her “signs” figured out, she goes and grows up a little more and we start right back at the beginning again. I’m OK with that, we have a bond that is unspeakable. We understand eachother even in moments of complete exhaustion, just when total frustration is about to take over – we understand eachother.

My husband wasn’t as lucky as I, he missed six weeks of this beautiful childs life and so in the past week and a half he’s had an awful lot of catching up to do. His daughter, no longer a newborn, has clear needs and wants and personality. He has had to become Abah (the local Sundanese word for father) very quickly and it’s been a wonderful thing to watch.

I decided before we arrived that I would do the best I could to step back (ha!) and allow him to parent his daughter, his way. That I would try hard (ha!) to not boss him around or tell him how things should be done… even though I’d been doing it solo for the six weeks prior.

So after a few days I stepped back and I watched them together. I watched as she cried and he would hand her back to me. I watched as he would lay her (awake) next to me (asleep) and promptly fall asleep himself. I watched as he discovered her smile, her laugh and her chatters all for the very first time. I watched as he learnt being a father is not just when your awake, when you have free time, when the surfs not good – being a parent always comes first. I watched as he stopped handing her back to me when she cried, I watched as he learnt how to soothe her frustrations. I watched as he scooped her up out of bed and left the room allowing me a few hours of peaceful sleep. I watched as he whispered secrets into her ear, in a language that I don’t understand, and she gazed at him adoringly. I watched them create their bond.

My husband is becoming a father, slowly and surely, day by day – he too is learning to read our child. And it’s an absolute pleasure privilege to watch.






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