First-time dads celebrate on Sunday
For some local men, Father’s Day is old hat, but for others it’s about as new an experience as changing diapers.
Neither Marc Goddard nor Tony Desler had confronted a loaded diaper before the birth of their respective son and daughter. But now the two Truckee dads are old hands. Goddard so much so that he now boasts he can change 5-month-old Quinn’s diaper with his eyes closed.
And like new-dad Laurence Alvarez-Roos, both Goddard and Desler said the mundane chores of babyhood can’t dampen the memories of being in the delivery room and becoming a father.
“You have no idea ” no way to put into words ” what it’s like seeing your wife and son,” Goddard said.
Marc and Damara Goddard celebrated the birth of their son, Quinn Walker, on Jan. 16. Before Quinn was born Goddard had never encountered a poopy diaper and he was scared of babies.
“I had zero experience before,” Goddard, 40, said about caring for an infant. “The first three months is kinda like the fourth trimester.”
Alvarez-Roos, 40, and partner Nicole Bradford, 38, welcomed their daughter Sabine into the world on July 18, 2005 after a difficult labor. Alvarez-Roos said the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he waited expectantly for his daughter to be born.
He said “it was like a dream” when he first laid eyes on Sabine.
Now 11 months old, Sabine Nicolette Alvarez-Bradford has the nickname “Super Sabine” because her dad likes to hoist her around his neck.
“I want her to be able to see it all,” Alvarez-Roos said.
Tony and Amy Desler became first-time parents to daughter Ariel Browning on Aug. 12, 2005. Before the birth, Tony, 30, read a few books, purchased a crib and painted the baby’s room, but didn’t know much about diaper duty. Now he gets plenty of practice.
Tony takes care of Ariel during the morning while Amy Desler, 30, goes to work.
“When everything is normal I have Ariel in the morning taking care of feeding, diapers, and housework ” although I’m not very good at that,” he said.
Along with changing diapers, he has been snapping pictures and trying to capture as much of Ariel in digital movies as he can. He said he’s amazed at the things she does.
“Everyday there’s some new surprise,” Tony said. “She just started pulling up on stuff.”
He said he looks forward to the things he can teach her as she gets older. He said they have been watching the World Cup on television together, with him telling her she’s going to play soccer someday.
Goddard also takes the a.m. baby shift. Damara Goddard said Marc gets up at 6 a.m. to go for a walk with Quinn to let her have a few precious hours to herself.
“He’s pretty much willing to do anything, especially in the mornings when I have a bad night,” Damara said, “like last night.”
Marc described fatherhood as a balancing act. He said that all the expected changes that occur once a child is born suddenly don’t become worrisome anymore.
“If the baby needed to take a two hour nap,” he said, “then I’d take a two hour nap.”
For Alvarez-Roos, the changes are coming fast. Sabine is now standing up on her own and is very close to her first steps. He said she’s already “a great inspector” of her surroundings and that he can’t wait to see what tastes she will have in music and sports when she grows up.
“I am looking forward to seeing her personality evolve,” Alvarez-Roos said.
Unfortunately for Desler, he won’t be with Ariel this Father’s Day because of a weekend bachelor party in Yosemite. He said Ariel is a little young this year to really know what the day means at only ten months but there will be plenty of other times to celebrate.
And, undoubtedly, a plenty more diapers to change.