Friday, May 17, 2013

New Dad

As a new Dad I've been given the advice to write down my thoughts. This is probably the absolute worst forum (public) to do it in because I am exhausted right (I'm surprised I didn't actually write "write" there) now, but here it goes.

Things are pretty fresh right now considering that 27 hours ago my first child entered this world. The range of emotions have been pretty intense. I wanted to try to remember this time in as much clarity as possible. I want to remember the feeling of seeing my daughter being born because it was more amazing and wonderful than my wildest expectations. I thought that I was going to be immune to that "magical moment" and had even planned a blog post about how I was cynical about the miracle of birth. It is somewhat too bad I didn't write that, because I would have been able to look back and seen I was dead wrong.

To give a little context, I came home from work on Wednesday night and was greeted with a pregnant wife telling me "if this isn't labor then I don't know what I am going to do." At 7pm I started tracking the contractions. It is kind of crazy how one gets when something so important is happening and you have pretty much the smallest role possible. For me, I take that one role extremely seriously and make sure that if I am asked to time contractions that I become the best contractions timer this world has ever seen. By the time 8pm rolled around I was able to inform the doctor about the length of time in between contractions, how long they had been going on and the duration of each one. The nurse that I talked to was impressed with my notetaking, which just confirmed in my head about my ability to write down numbers when M told me to.

Anyway, we drove to Riverside at around 8pm and once the nurses checked M out it was clear that this was the night. M gave birth to Lucy at 2:19am and it was the best moment of my life. Going in I was terrified about M being in labor, but it ended up literally bringing tears to my eyes. I am so grateful to have entered this stage of my life. And to know that I have friends and family that have already been so supportive makes the whole situation that much better. There will be many sleepless nights and frustrations ahead, but it will all be worth it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Parent I Want To Be

M is now officially one week away from her date. This time period is interesting because it makes any and all activities (such as writing a blog post) transform into "will she go into labor" activities. That provides a strange calm before the storm. The anxiety comes from knowing labor is imminent, but with that knowledge means that we aren't really planning anything. That allows for days like today, which included sleeping till 9am, watching tv, going on a long walk, spending time with friends and watching basketball. I know that will change soon, but until that comes I'm not really sure what else I should be doing.

Anyway, we are excited for this new change in our life and with that I would like to get my thoughts down on the parent I do and do not want to be. The first thing that I want to do as a parent is to get the "big stuff" right. First and foremost that means maintaining a loving relationship with M. Besides just providing a good example of a long-term, committed relationship, it is important baby girl to be a home where people actually like each other. Also, by placing our relationship first it will hopefully instill the characteristic of being selfless and of caring about others. I don't want baby girl to feel like she is the center of the universe and grow up to become a narcissistic, selfish, entitled individual.

However, that being written I want to give baby girl as much love and support as we have seen from other parent friends. She should know that our love for her is unconditional, and that as her parents we will take care of her. It is on us to provide the same childhood as was provided by our parents. This is the deal we made when we got married and decided to have children.

Also, I would like my child to know their family. It might be easier for one side since we live in the same city, but I also want to make sure that she knows my family in Mississippi. That means trips back home, vacations together, etc. Her relationship with her grandparents, uncles, aunts and nephew is important.

I want to have pizza/movie nights with her.

I want to pay every penny for four years of college.

I want to encourage her to read, and in academics I want to cultivate M's work ethic in her.

I want her to be an independent thinker, who is able to make her own decisions based on careful thought.

I want her to grow up in a world that is accepting of others (ex. gay marriage) and does not pass judgement on people just because they are different.

For all of this I will try to provide as best of an example as possible. Who knows what life will bring with her or how we will actually parent? It is hard to predict something that is so new for us. And I know how big of a factor luck is in all of this. I will do my best.