On March 3rd we were fortunate enough for my wife to safely give birth to an amazing and healthy little girl. Since then, a majority of most days has been spent rocking, feeding, changing, and just generally caring for my daughter. That in and of it self is also a blessing. I had two weeks of leave from work, and then we had spring break at my elementary school.Many new parents that I know, especially the fathers, don’t have the opportunity o be able to be there for their family during these early, trying, months.
Of course, I don’t want to give the impression that I am any form of saint. I still get cranky and frustrated when I can’t easily smooth the little angel. (Don’t worry. All that frustration is being locked up inside my head and just inside my eyes.) When she cries in the middle of the night out of hunger, I move a little slower than I should in the hopes that my wife will wake. (Of course that wasn’t the case during the first week, when we needed to rely more on formula. Then I would try and get there first. But now that my wife is having better results breastfeeding, the voice in my head tells me if all I’m going to do is hand the little girl over, maybe I should just stay in bed.) The point is, I’m still as flayed as ever, but I also really want to do right by my entire family. They are so incredibly worth the effort.
And my daughter. For about a week I was a little worried. When I held her, there was something about the joy i felt that was different than when I was holding my son when he was a little baby. I couldn’t place what it was. I had always wanted a little girl, but I have always loved my son with my entire heart. Then why did it somehow feel better to hold my daughter?
And then the answer hit me.
I didn’t have the fear.
When my son was this age, no matter how wonderful it felt to hold him, there was this ever present fear. What if he slipped? What if I didn’t support his head the right way? What if I do the wrong thing? Everything was so new and tiny that I was constantly second guessing myself. I’m not sure I ever really felt at piece when he was so tiny, even though he was the most magical thing I had ever held.
My daughter is not any more magical in that regard. But the fear isn’t there. My son taught me that I can hold a child. That I can change diapers without injuring such a tiny thing. My son taught me how to be a father.
And so, after one month of ebbing with this new little angel, it feels like she has always been a part of our family. She has already changed and grown so much.
How did I get so lucky?
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