Skip to main content

A short list of my joys as a parent

I find myself commiserating with a co-worker on a regular basis who's daughter is just a few months younger than The Kid.  We're both in the cutting teeth phase, so one of us is usually exhausted from another night of getting up in the middle of the night to soothe a baby in pain.  When Gladys was out of town and The Kid had three blowout diapers in two days, my co-worker was the one person on our team who knew exactly what I was going through.  

The problem with this is our childless co-workers will overhear these stories, leading them to declare that listening to us makes them glad they don't have kids.  So here is a short list of why being a father is the most incredible, humbling, heartwarming experience of my life.
  • When I pick The Kid up from daycare, watching her drop everything and run to me is great, as is the bear hug I get when she reaches me.
  • Watching her sit up at the table in her room to read a book like Mommy reads to her.
  • Having to read six stories because three just wasn't enough.
  • Listening to her happily singing each morning on our way to daycare.
  • Watching her try to whistle after listening to me whistle the little tune my Grandfather used to whistle.
  • Spontaneous dancing while she's strapped to my back for our family walks.
  • The first smile of the morning.
  • Having her run toward me when I yell I'm going to catch the baby.
  • Her two-handed kiss blowing technique.
  • Watching The Kid study something for the first time, like a new toy or a new stuffed animal, to see exactly how it works.
  • Watching her try to hand Barney his dog toy because she hasn't learned to throw them yet.
  • Our dinner conversations about nothing.  
  • Watching her eat plain Greek yogurt, which is almost as cute as watching her try baba ghanouj because she saw her parents eating it.  Which is almost as cute as her trying to eat my Popsicles. 
  • Hearing her laugh of pure joy.
  • Her habit of waving goodbye after people leave is priceless.
  • Knowing that when she doesn't feel good, cuddling with Papa is a good way to feel better.

Popular posts from this blog

Our family became whole because another family fell apart

A co-worker shared a powerful story from Huffington Post with me today. It was one adoptive mother's account of the days from meeting their birth mother to walking away from the hospital with their soon-to-be-adopted daughter in tow. I almost cried reading it because I can relate to the story in many ways, especially the feelings of uncertainty that are ever present until you see the amended birth certificate in the mail. 
"Bearing witness to her sorrow, I realize BabyMama is also experiencing three days of labor. As we text and grieve, we experience the contractions of the heart and body and mind together." -Kathleen Dennehy 
Our situation was different. The family in the story had to wait for three days in the hospital while the birth mother had to make the impossible decision to surrender her child for adoption. The Kid's foster mom had taken her home from the hospital and cared for her until her birth parent's legal rights to custody were terminated. We met h…

To a generous young trick-or-treater for his kindness

Our neighborhood is unbelievable on Halloween night. Starting about 6 p.m., our street is packed with trick-or-treaters. If you don't start stockpiling candy early, you could go broke trying to keep up with the crowd.

The Kid doesn't really like the trick-or-treating part, she loves to hand out the candy. She ventured out twice, once with me and once with Grandma, but returned because she loved being the helper kid who was making everyone enjoy their holiday.

One young man hesitated at our door after she stuffed a few treats into his bag. If I had to guess, he was about 10 or 11 years old himself. He started fumbling in his bag, pulled out a treat and said, "This is for her since she hasn't been out trick-or-treating for herself."

I think he was a little embarrassed by our effusive praise of his generosity. He didn't have to do that for our little Wonder Woman. She was having a great time and has a boatload of candy from her two tours of our block. But he wa…

A random conversation at the Peninsula Grill

There were four of us seated at the bar last night at the Peninsula Grill, a regular on the end to my left and a couple at the other end on my right. I purposefully picked the middle of the bar so I could watch the Tigers game while journaling in peace. Between finishing my soup and my whitefish arriving, I had managed to fill almost an entire page.  

I write letters to The Kid in the journal. Someday, I will probably give it to her. Many of my letters are simple remembrances of the funny things she said, accounts of the astute observations she's made or me reminding her future self of the giving things she did as a four year-old. Some of the content is about my journey to becoming her Papa, and that can be deeply personal. She's also getting to an age that blogging all of it is no longer appropriate, she deserves her privacy, so I decided several months ago to start an old-school journal to preserve my memories.  
After dinner, which was excellent, I continued to pour my hea…