There’s an amazing moment you only you get to experience once: when they place your baby in your arms for the first time and suddenly you are overcome with emotion. The enormity of the experience hits you like a ton of bricks: This is it, I’m finally a parent. There’s no going back now. Most of us spend that jarring moment dissolving into a puddle of mush, but one new dad had the wherewithal to capture his honest reaction to meeting his newborn daughter for the first time.
Spoiler alert: It’s a tearjerker.
Andrew Cluckie posted the first 50 seconds he spent with his daughter, Sophia, born on July 10, 2014, to his YouTube channel last week. In the video caption, Cluckie described the first daddy-daughter convo that brought him to tears, “My baby Sophia, I cried my face off. I love her forever.” While Cluckie and Sophia’s mother Alisha Makin are no longer together, the daddy-daughter bond that formed in those first few minutes is undeniable.
There’s something so special about this video, and it’s not only because it nails those first few seconds of raw emotion every new parent can relate to. It’s because it encapsulates the new wave of fatherhood that places both parents on even footing when it comes to raising children. Fifty years ago, you wouldn’t have seen a video like this. Now, as we’ve become a generation of hands-on parents who will do everything in our power (with the risk of going overboard) to invest in our kids, both parents have as much at stake.
As this touching video shows, dads aren’t sitting in the hospital lobby waiting to pass out cigars once a baby is born. Instead, dads like Cluckie, have a front-row seat at their child’s birth (with 95 percent of dads staying in the delivery room) and are participating each step of the way.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was initially surprised to see my husband so excited, almost more excited than I was. I spent my days trying not to fall asleep from pregnancy exhaustion, eating nutritious foods, and suffering from caffeine withdrawals. Meanwhile, my husband took on the parenting websites and books like it was his job, learning everything he could. By the time we brought our baby home, my husband had put as much thought into the parenting gauntlet of feeding, clothing, diapering, and sleeping as I had.
If my husband and most of the fathers in my social circle are any indicator, men want to play an equal part — and they are much more like Cluckie than Don Draper. They are throwing Katy Perry dance parties in the living room. They are whipping up homemade monster spray to keep their daughters from having bad dreams at night. Soon-to-be dads are sobbing when they find out that they are finally, finally, going to have a baby after waiting 17 years.
There is nothing but good that can come from this. The uprising of the “super dad” is busting the parenting norms that have held us back for years. If Cluckie’s sweet video reminds us of anything (besides how wonderful it is to meet your baby for the first time), it’s that dads care just as much as moms do. And our kids are better for it.