Daniel Acevedo of Selden waited two years to celebrate his first Father’s Day. He and his wife Gina-Marie tried to get pregnant for two years before their daughter Amelia was born. Although Daniel Acevedo will be working this Father's Day, he was able to take off for three months between March and June thanks to New York State’s paid family leave, so he spent all day every day with Amelia during that time. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Here’s a Father’s Day riddle: How can it be that it took Daniel Acevedo of Selden two years to celebrate his first Father’s Day?

Answer: That’s how long he and his wife, Gina-Marie, were trying to get pregnant before Amelia Grace was born on Aug. 23, 2021, at NYU Langone Hospital in Mineola, where Gina-Marie, 32, is a respiratory therapist and Daniel, also 32, is an emergency room nurse.

As he prepares to celebrate this first Father's Day, Daniel...

As he prepares to celebrate this first Father's Day, Daniel Acevedo is shown with his 9-month-old daughter, Amelia Grace, at their home in Selden. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Now Amelia is 9 months old. “She’s walking, it’s amazing watching her grow every day. The best part of being a dad is knowing I’m a part of this little human’s life,” Acevedo says.

Acevedo will be working 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the ER on his first Father’s Day, but he says that’s okay with him – he took off three months between March and June thanks to New York State’s paid family leave, so he’s been with Amelia all day during that time. And he’s sure Gina-Marie will surprise him at breakfast – shh, she’s giving him a toolbox. “We’re both blessed, Amelia and I, to have such a good man,” Gina-Marie says.

Father’s Day is always special for the men of the family, but the first Father’s Day can be especially poignant, say Long Island first-time fathers such as Michael Behrens, 42, a realtor from Selden whose daughter, Kenzie, was born May 5.

Michael Bamberger, of Bayport, with his daughter, Freya, born in...

Michael Bamberger, of Bayport, with his daughter, Freya, born in February. 

Kenzie and his wife, Ashley, 33, an assistant director at an animal shelter, came home from the hospital just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with decorations and flowers. Behrens expects he’ll get the royal treatment on Father’s Day as well, perhaps with a trip to the Strawberry Festival in Mattituck.

Joseph Czeto, Jr., 33, a maintenance technician from Massapequa, plans to celebrate Father’s Day with his fraternal twins, Dylan and Delilah, 7 months, in the traditional Father’s Day way – with a barbecue in his backyard with his wife, Danielle, 37, a teacher. “Enjoying the moment,” he says. Czeto’s father – who the twins made a grandfather and who lives next door, will also drop in, as may Czeto’s in-laws.

“It’s almost like taking blood pressure medicine when I see them,” Joseph Czeto, Sr., 76, who is retired, says of holding his first grandchildren. “I hold them in my arms and the world’s problems go away.”

Reynaldo Jolay, 36, who works in technical support for autos says that before becoming a dad, “I didn’t even want to hold a child…I just didn’t know how to. I’ve never taken care of kids before.” He and his wife, Christie, 37, who works in a purchasing department, tried for six years to have a baby before Estela was born in March. “It’s been what we’ve been missing,” Jolay says of having a child, whom the couple named after Jolay’s grandmother.

Reynaldo Jolay’s daughter, Estela, was born in March.

Reynaldo Jolay’s daughter, Estela, was born in March. Credit: Jolay family

Now, Jolay says it's exciting to figure out what Estela wants and needs. “I feel more nurturing. I like the cuddles. She’s my little cuddle buddy.”

John Cuellar of Greenlawn, an orthopedic surgeon with Catholic Health Physician Partners, had a son, Jayden, in April, and says he’s been having flashbacks to his medical residency training since then. “I’m waking up in the middle of the night again all the time,” he jokes.

Cuellar says the best part of being a new dad is coming home from work to “this little guy there. Sometime when I get home and he’s awake and he’s smiling, that just makes my day.” Cuellar, 39, says it's still up in the air how he will celebrate Father's Day -- extended family members of his wife, Haley, 31, a nurse, are lobbying to go to the Mets game at Citi Field.

Michael Bamberger, 36, a dental sales manager from Bayport, says his fantasy for his first Father’s Day – which will likely come true – is to send his wife, Alex, 33, a nurse who has been on maternity leave since their daughter Freya's birth in February, out for a manicure-pedicure while he spends one-on-one Daddy/daughter time with Freya. It’s a win-win, he says.

“She’s an absolute dream,” Bamberger says of Freya. “I hate leaving the house to go to work. I wish I could just stay home with her. She’s starting to coo now, and she’s really vocal. I just want to take care of her and love her and make sure she’s protected and healthy every single day."