Father and Son
How Eddie Dawson fell in love with his baby boy
When I first met Zach I realised that most of my preparations were flawed, I hadn’t realised that he would wiggle and cry so much. I must admit that my confidence was rocked. When Zach was born I was working away every week so after a week’s paternity leave I was only spending time with him on Saturday and Sunday. Lora, my wife, was a first time mum and was learning how to manage with a little one so it seemed easier to default to her than to take the lead.
I had always been a swimmer and felt most at home in, on or under the water. I always wanted Zach to share this love of water. With the rest of our anti-natal class we booked onto a baby swim course. When the day came I was quite nervous, Lora changed Zach, gave him to me on pool side and off we went.
When I talk to people about this I use words like “lightning bolt” and “epiphany”. It was fantastic. Zach loved the water, he was all smiles and giggles. For half an hour on a Saturday I was in sole control, I learnt how to hold him and soothe him when he cried. As the weeks went on I became more and more comfortable with my abilities. A few months later Lora was in need of some down time so we decided I should take Zach by myself. The nerves were there again but I had a lot more faith in myself. After that I started regularly taking Zach on my own. It became our time; other dads in our group were coming on their own as well, we would have a swim, have a coffee and brag about how well we were coping.
Five years later, Sunday morning is our time, we go swimming, go to DIY stores, you know, boys stuff. In this time a lot has changed, my lightning bolt has stayed with me and with Lora’s backing we opened our own baby swimming school. I love getting in the pool every day and hopefully giving the parents the same feeling I had with Zach. Bonding is a word used very often. Not only did I bond with Zach in the pool but it was also the place where I fell in love with my boy.
Eddie and Zach