I will admit that I’m lazy about writing at times, but I’d really like to write a poem as sort of a birth announcement for her, but I’m finding it very difficult to pull together my thoughts on fatherhood and on my daughter. That’s my way of saying I’m overwhelmed in the most glorious of ways. Everything she does is amazing to me. Just the things I’ve seen as she’s grown the last couple of months has blown me away. My new life as a father is progressing nicely. My daughter is pretty perfect, and that’s not something observed with a father’s eyes. She eats and sleeps very well, she’s not fussy, and as a point of pride to me at least, she’s fairly gigantic as babies go. Being fairly gigantic myself, I’m hopeful she’s tall and athletic. Who can ever say with a 10 week old how that will play out, but for now, she’s off the charts, and I enjoy that.
I grew up in a close-knit family with a constant supply of fresh new cousins with whom to share experiences beyond those I shared with my two sisters. I have older cousins who are like siblings and younger cousins I helped raise. I’ve changed most of their diapers at one point or another and have now seen most grow up and have children of their own. All of this is to say that I’ve experienced children and child rearing in most capacities since I was fairly young. That wealth of experience still doesn’t prepare you for the constant care and nurturing of a child of your own. I do believe that diapering has been a breeze for me because of my experiences, but there’s nothing in my past that required me to be the parent that soothed a tired child or shushed her to sleep. I had comforted before, but it’s wholly different to walk circles in your living room with a baby because that’s what calmed her best when she was three or four days old. There’s nothing you experience with any child but your own that comes close to the constant inspection and evaluation of everything your child does.
Every sound is scrutinized to make sure nothing is wrong. The contents of every diaper are categorized and chronicled to make sure any changes are known. It’s amazing how much reading into things I do with her, but I don’t think I’m doing anything out of the ordinary. I think it’s hardwired into us to look at our own children that way, and that’s what makes the experience so new. There is constantly something I’m at least somewhat unprepared for happening. It’s amazing, and I’m exhausted, but I can already tell that the farther I get from the fussy newborn, the more those still fresh memories of just a few weeks ago continue to sweeten.