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Dad 2.0

A few observations as we approach the first anniversary of our daughter Emberís birth.

- Everything starts as a toy. You have to decide if you can afford to have it break and then possibly reclassify it.

- Loss of sleep changes you, reforms your thoughts, makes you question things you held firm before.

- Iíve made cheap overuse of the warden-prisoner dilemma, but itís generally true. The warden is focused on the running of the prison, the maintenance, the overall welfare of the prisoners. The prisoner is just concerned with escaping. This analogy doesnít bear serious scrutiny, but the general principle applies. The parent is overwhelmed and the child is merely experiencing, pushing. If you allow this to be a more formative relationship, itís not warden/prisoner, but teacher/student and you are, at times, the student.

- Friends without kids remain effortlessly clueless about how much it takes just to simply leave the house.

- Memory is shared. Iíve forgotten so much of what it was like when the boys were babies b/c I donít talk about it with anyone anymore. My mom passed years ago. My dad wasn’t around. My ex-wife and I don’t talk. Thatís sad in its way, but I still remember certain things. I remember the crying and thinking they would never sleep through the night. I remember the sheer joy of holding them and watching their wonder. Itís rekindled in Ember.

- "No" doesnít mean anything yet. "No" is something to repeat when doing the very thing you donít want her to do.

- Her smile illuminates everything. Itís like the sun exploded in the house and erased every shadow.

- So much of life is simply getting from one moment to another - mapping your next few steps and plodding through them, such that you have to infuse everything with purpose or none of it. There is no middle ground. As God said that heíd spit the lukewarm out of his mouth, so it is with life. You canít do it by halves. Youíll be miserable.

- Toilets are still the most fun object in the house. Theyíre like mini whirpool bathtubs. You could barricade the toilet with a steel wall and sheíd still find a way to stick her hands into it.

- I would kill a bear if it looked at her. I would make myself the king of fools if it made her laugh.

- Traffic is made all the more terrible by her crying. I have almost run stop lights just to get her to stop crying. Iíve nearly gotten into wrecks just to keep driving, driving.

- They have inventions that make it easier. But those only go so far. There is still changing the diaper and feeding and carrying and the unexpected whimsy of a baby finding her way. You canít have an invention that covers life.

- I donít think itís possible to love her more. And then the next day comes.

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