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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life Changing

Three weeks ago, my life changed just a little bit.  My little girl, Lauren, was born.

I'm not going to go on and on about how wonderful she is - as a first-time parent, I can simply stare at her doing nothing for hours - but becoming a father means a lot to me so I thought I'd try writing about the experience. 

Humbling is the word that keeps coming to mind when it comes to being a new parent, but humbling in a good way.  

Sure, there is the humbling part of the infant taking priority at all times - our girl has been plowing through 80-plus diapers a week and they don't change themselves - but that was to be expected, so that part of it really hasn't required a massive adjustment. 

Getting up every couple hours, at all hours, isn't exactly the same-old, same-old, but it's been manageable.  (This is the about the time that I break my hand knocking on wood.)

What's been especially humbling, though, is when my wife, Jennifer (The Leggy Blonde, some may recall, from a few of my blogs) and I find out how happy others are for our good news.  The over-the-moon joy is to be expected, I suppose, from my parents as Lauren is their first grandchild, but it's amazing (to me) how positive the response has been from others. 

I'm guilty of underestimating how much family, friends and co-workers care about us, but having this many people offering support and expressing happiness for us has been an eye-opener and I'm grateful; an unanticipated bonus to the arrival of our bundle of joy.

As new parents, we recognize that there are going to be many hurdles ahead but, strangely enough, it seems that we're eager to face them and go into parenthood realizing that, despite all our preparation, there is much that we don't know. 

I've always been of the mind that, ironically, really smart people realize how little they know so, if that holds true, we could be parenting geniuses! 

Nevertheless, there's a certain freedom that comes in knowing and accepting that we will make mistakes and learn from them.  We're going to do the best we can and, like a quarterback facing complex blitz packages, we'll read and react when we have to face something we haven't encountered before.

Becoming a parent makes me want to be a better person, knowing that I'm ultimately setting an example for my impressionable daughter.  If she helps make me a better person, just by being here, then it's not too much to ask for me to do my best to ensure that she gets the best opportunities that we can provide.

That last paragraph may need to get printed out and set next to the change table - a good reminder for when trouble arises at half-hour intervals throughout the night - but, right now, I'm still a giddy new dad who doesn't need that extra motivation. 

I expect this glow will last for a good long time.

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