I haven’t written in quite some time; Emily likes to remind me. So, I thought I would write a post on my first year of being a dad.
One year has passed since I became a father. I still feel odd when someone refers to me as a dad or talks about my daughter. Emily is putting together 2014’s pictures into an album and we are reminiscing over all that has happened in the past year. Seeing Claire develop from a bump to a small person complete with a personality has been quite a journey.
The first weeks were among the hardest weeks in my life. Nothing can prepare you to be a parent. The amount of responsibility thrust upon you overnight is immense. On the other side, nothing is quite as rewarding either. Each day was a new experience with both challenges and rewards. There is nothing quite like waking up to a newborn on your chest sleeping peacefully. And nothing quite like your newborn crying for 30 minutes because you cannot figure out what’s making her uncomfortable. We made it through and the experience brought Emily and I closer each day.
Our first months brought us into a groove. Claire slept through most of the night. Emily mastered feeding. I mastered diaper changes (Emily was already a pro). Claire started to learn. Head, shoulders, knees, and oh what are those? Toes. Oooo Fingers. And then she was mobile. Each step was rewarding and nothing made us happier than seeing her develop.
That brings us to today. Claire is now eating real food and sometimes enjoys the food we make (hurray!). Claire is a ball of energy. We work on helping her walk and laugh at her little belly. Teeth are coming in and it’s another proud parent moment. Sometimes we have to do things that upset her and it hurts even though we know it’s for her own good.
I have learned that I knew nothing in the beginning. I have learned to be OK with that. Every day is a learning experience. Every day we are learning more about a person. We learn what she likes and doesn’t, often with enthusiasm. We learn what one babble is versus another, one cry verses another. We live for her smiles and enjoy every day. Every day makes us more a family. Every day I learn. Every day I’m happy.