Four fathers I met at the maternity ward. When our daughter was born.
The first father was a very nice guy. His wife had some complications, during delivery, and she had to spend the first four nights in intensive care. So there he was, this poor guy, with his new born baby, walking alone around the corridors — day and night. He did not eat, nor sleep for four days. Still, the man was heroically taking care of the baby without a word of complain. We talked quite a lot (well, for being in Sweden!) during those sleepless nights. My little girl kept us awake a lot — in the beginning. So, I had my share of night walks. The poor guy was so tired: his mother came finally to help after few days, and he went home to get some hours of sleep. The man drove one hour and half to reach home, and once there he realized that he had forgotten the keys at the hospital. So, he forced the door of his own garage, and slept there, on the concrete floor, with no heating. A real hero. I got his business card, and still I did not have time (four months later) to write him. Kinda Swedish attitude: yes, yes, I will call/write you, and then you just don’t. Ok, I promise, I will write tonight. Just that he probably did not really expect me to contact him back. Kinda Swedish attitude: write/call me! And you hope the other will never do.
Religion is like a penis
The second father was Jesus. Or at least this is how me and Bella renamed him. Jesus was walking up and down the corridors with his twins: a boy and a girl. Nothing wrong with that: however, he was wearing some black t-shirt, with a big white cross on the back, and some gospel quotes on the front. Jesus had also a big golden cross hanging around his neck. The funny fact is that the cross was not resting peacefully on his chest, but rather it was jumping up and down, in a perpetual erection. They say that religion is like a penis: it is ok to have one, but do not flash it on the face of people — and don’t use it to take important decisions. Jesus was walking around with his penis out. He asked me when we were going to baptize our girl, and stared at me in disbelief once I answered that no, our little daughter would have lived with her original sin. Jesus told me the story of his conversion: it happened somewhere in Africa, and god knows what he was doing there. His wife was always silent: I adopted the same tactic. He kept talking about the joy of god, and I kept staring at his erected penis hanging around his neck. In silence.
No baby seat, as you can imagine
The third father was not there. The poor girl delivered alone, and alone was set to stay in the room in front of ours. She had almost no teeth, and I could not say if her age was 20 or 40. Her skin has stains and marks, her hair were long and messy. I did not see anyone visiting her, not the day she delivered, neither the day after. In less that 24 hours, she was outside waiting for someone to pick her up. The baby in one arm, a plastic bag in the other hand. She was wearing no shoes, but some teared plastic sandals: definitively not what you want to have on your feet during Swedish winter. A man arrived after some two or three hours, driving some old car. The woman and the baby went away with him. No baby seat, in the car, as you can imagine.
The fourth father
The fourth father. I saw him in the mirror. He had a smile on his face, and a sweet baby girl in his arms. The fourth father saw his girl, for the first time, at 11.16 in the morning. She had long dark hair, and a funny cute wrinkle was defining the border between her little nose and the forehead. For some silly reason, the fourth father looked first of all at her feet. Then at her big, big eyes. He thought a lot, on what he would have told her — once they would have finally met. When it came the time, he just smiled, and told her “Ciao. Ciao, amore.” The fourth father had his little girl for three hours laying on his chest, while mum was recovering. He sang for his baby, all the three hours. And kissed her. And smiled, smiled a lot.