I love being a dad. People have been asking me, “Has it been a big adjustment?" There have been a ton of changes, but as far as feeling parental, that kicked in right away.
I really expected a surreal moment at the time of her birth. I had planned my emotions ahead of time, like a good director would. I knew that the moment I saw her I would be overcome with…something. The fact of the matter is, it just felt kind of normal. The thought going through my mind was, "yep…there she is. That’s my kid. Now let’s do this.”
Every parent has a different story, but I’m so glad that Andrea and I had 5 years of marriage before little Valentine (val-lin-teen) came along. Now that’s she’s here, we’re already dreaming about our next one. I love that our baby is so wonderfully alive, that she has eyes that sparkle, and that she looks like her mom. Yesterday I started reading her the book of Psalms. That’s something that we’re gonna finish together during this first year of her life.
I’m also learning to LOVE the messes.
I am a night owl, so I take the 12am - 3am shift. That’s our quality daddy-daughter time. Andrea never grew up around kids, but she has been such a NATURAL with our baby. She has so much love to give. It has been amazing watching my wife become the mom that God made her to be. Watching Andrea with our daughter, I realize I have so much to learn…and the best teacher.
Last night at 2AM, the baby was sleeping so still. I woke her up to feed her a bottle, and she ate it like a little lady. She finished eating, fluttered her eyes, and settled down. Then, we had a daddy-daughter first. She looked up at me with those sparkling angel eyes…and barfed all over me. Nice warm milk running down my Lacoste shirt. No worries. I dabbed her with a burp cloth, and made my way upstairs to her perfect pink nursery to get cleaned up.
I placed her on her changing pad, and started to wipe her down. I decided to go ahead and change her diaper. I’ve done this a ton of times by now. She likes to squirm and wiggle, but we’ve got a routine. I got her diaper off, got her all cleaned up, put on her nice soothing ointment…and PLLLLPPPPTTTTT. She shot a stream of princess poo all over the dresser, the changing pad, the wall, the mirror, and daddy’s hand. Quite the moment. I had to dismantle half the room to restore normalcy. In 20 minutes, I had us all cleaned back up, and she was down for the night. (till 5:30 am)
Here was the best part about last night - It felt like an initiation! The parts I was dreading about having a baby are actually kind of fun. It’s not that I have a new found affinity for doody. Rather, looking at my daughter, I realize that I would do absolutely anything for her. Any moment I get to spend with her is a gift. Every time I look at her, I resist the temptation to call her mine. I know she belongs to the Lord. I’m praying that she will hunger and thirst for His kingdom, that she will serve Him, and that she will change the world. That’s all in the future. For the moment, she’s ours to love, to change, to feed, to hug, to clean, to cuddle…and we’re going to treasure every minute.
As far as the whole daddy thing goes - I could get used to this.