Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Dad's Perspective

The following, blog world, is something I wrote for the other blog my wife and I made for our baby (we have a baby, you'll meet her below).

I wrote it for the blog, but it is more about me, so I moved it over here. There will be some overlap that I am telling myself I might go back and fix later, but in all honesty, this is probably what it will be. If you're reading this for the first time, you will have no idea if I changed anything or fixed anything, so all of this is ramble. If you're reading this at all, you know ramble is my specialty.

For your consideration:

So as you can see from the following picture, Mabel is adorable.
Today marks her two month mark. Eight and a half weeks of changing our lives and growing a little more each day.

Pictured: MJC a badass little baby girl!
A lot of things have changed in the last month. That's silly to say, really, since a lot of things change each day. From the time she goes to bed in the night to getting up in the morning she seems to have grown and changed  and taken on a new character trait or a whole new personality even cooler than the one before.

Here are the most noteworthy changes of the last month:

  1. This girl is hilarious. She laughs and smiles and loves looking you right in the eyes.
  2. She doesn't just like bath time, she violently loves it. Flailing around, kicking her legs, flapping her arms and just being the cutest little bean in town.
  3. The girl can hold a helluva conversation. Tonight, particularly, she just cooed back and squealed and yelled at us while we read to her on her changing table. She is so alert and engaged and when we stop talking, she stops and waits for us to chat back with her again.
  4. Last, but certainly not least, is that she looks a lot like me.

That's what I'm going to talk a little bit about.

The role I've adopted as "daddy" is an interesting one. We are extremely, beyond lucky, that Jenna is able to have Mabel with her all week long. She works for an amazing family who lets her integrate Mabel into their routine and their little boy Desmond into ours. Jenna keeps me up to date with at least three or four pictures a day. In case it doesn't go without saying I am a little jealous of all the time they get to spend together, but even with such a great situation it isn't easy.

I am our of the house a little after 7 in the morning and typically don't get home until sometime between 5 and 6. That gives me a minimal amount of time while she is awake and even less with her annoyingly infant like sleeping patterns (why can't you just do what we want you to do all the time... that's okay, I'm sure you'll be a perfect little angel when you're a teenager).

So even with pictures throughout the day, time together in the morning and evenings together, I still feel like I miss a lot. Throughout all of this we still have our every day housekeeping duties like eating, making sure we and our house don't smell terrible, taking care of a dog, keeping up with our friends and occasionally talking to each other. Jenna loves every second of being with Mabel, but could use some time apart as well.

It is anything but simple and we are nowhere near having it all figured out. She's growing and changing so quickly and we are just doing our best to keep up. I think about how lucky we are, how great she is, and how much love we have for her and I can't help it, I still miss her all day and feel like I'm missing so much of her life.

(Editor's note: if you are reading this, happen to be independently wealthy, and feel like sponsoring me and my family by serving as our benefactor, we will gladly take all of your extra money, thank you.)

So back to where I started. I still think Mabel looks like Jenna. I can see Jenna in her nose, in her cheeks, and in her smiles. I selfishly felt like I was missing my daughters life, she wasn't going to know her daddy at all (I realize this is all ridiculous) and that she was most likely going to adore her mother and coldly call me father when I saw her after work. Right when all of this was certainly about to become a reality, Jenna took a  picture of a picture of me as a baby.


So we're not identical, but we sure do look alike. I'm not very good at things like this. Unless it is identical or blatantly obvious I don't see family resemblances very easily. I certainly didn't see it with Mabel and me. Not until I looked at these pictures next to each other. All of the stupidity I described above melted away. We look too much alike not to have any sort of connection and it's not like I'm going anywhere. She's destined to listen to my terrible story telling, obnoxious jokes, and ridiculous analogies. I'm destined to explain things to her on a level I can barely understand, much less a small child. (Dad doesn't play things down for nobody!)

In general, watching this little girl grow up so quickly is surreal. It's an unbelievable chain of events that you can't control. That makes it scary. It makes you think and feel things that aren't normal, rational or even good for you. Knowing this isn't going to make it any easier. It's not going to make me any less jealous, not going to make her grow up any slower, and it's not going to make any of this seem more normal or controllable. So you have to take it for what it is. It's perfect. It's the cliche and it's the small things. Mabel looking like her daddy in an old picture. A dinner with Jenna at the dining room table while she takes a quick nap. Leaving work ten minutes early to pick her up from Jenna when she works late. Some daddy Mabel time and the first smile when she wakes up in the morning. And just knowing that we have years and years with her beyond this and beyond the next thousand changes she'll go through this week... we'll figure it out. And it'll be worth it. Completely worth every second of it.

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