Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


As a first time father, I always seem to find myself checking up on my little girl while she sleeps. No, it's not because I'm worried that something will happen to her if I don't- I don't have those types of irrational fears- I just like to watch her. It's peaceful. And if you want to know the truth, to me, it's one of the best things about fatherhood.

I'll often check on her several times throughout the night. I'll go in to her room, under the cover of semi-darkness, and replace the covers that she's kicked off, or reposition the plush pink bunny that has made it to the other side of her crib. It doesn't seem to bother her. Like her father, she sleeps through just about anything. Sure, there's the odd time when I disturb her, but she simply looks up at me all crusty-eyed and says "Hi Daddy" before rolling over and drifting back in to dreamland. It's the best feeling in the world.

There are times, however, when I get lost in the moment, and find myself staring at her for 10, 15, even 20 minutes at a time. I look at her face, remembering the Grand-mother who meant so much to me as a child; a woman she looks exactly like. I look at her tiny hands and remember a time, not so long ago, when they were barely able to grasp anything. I look at her little feet, the ones that had socks on them when I put her to bed, but every night she pulls them off in defiance. I watch her toss and turn when she's having a bad dream, watching the static from the sheets turn her hair in to something comical. And I watch in wonderment as her tiny little Buddha belly goes in and out with each relaxed breath.

In those few minutes I get lost and start imagining the future: who she will be; what she'll be like; how she will come to think of the "old" man. I remember back to the day she was born and how it felt to hold my "baby" for the very first time. I remember that uncertain feeling of fear and not knowing what to do next. But time speeds up and I remember her first smile, her first word, her first great giggle, and I realize how precious these moments are. I see a little girl laying in her crib, once bald and toothless, now with a full head of hair and teeth that she likes to sink in to the dog's tail when he's not looking. I see a toddler who's not afraid to tell you what she wants with a the few choice words and phrases she picks up every single day. I see in to the future and imagine a little girl with the stubbornness of her father, pushing his buttons to get every thing her little heart desires, and I can't help but marvel at how far we've already come in such a short period of time.

This is the great joy of fatherhood, watching your little girl grow up right before your eyes. Today she softly sleeps in the confines of her crib, tomorrow I set her loose in to the world. It will happen that quickly. And no matter what I try to slow down the process, time waits for no one. So I watch her sleep, the sound of her thumb-sucking keeping the beat with her breathing. I lean in to kiss her on the forehead and replace that damn pink bunny- that she carries everywhere- one more time. "Night. Night. D.D." I say as I leave the room. "Sleep well."

And as I move toward the door to leave her to her slumber, she occasionally calls out to me.
"Love you Daddy," she says.
"Love you D.D. I say."
"Daddy?" She asks.
"Yes D.D.?" I say.
"Light, Daddy... Light!" 

Yup. They grow up so fast.


1 comment:

  1. Watching your babies sleep never gets old to me. I'll probably be peeking at him until he tells me to stop, then I'll just be more sneaky! Lol. He'll always be my baby. It's that peaceful time you have with them, not interacting, that allows our egos to swell and believe we've created a flawless, perfect little mirror image of ourselves.