I realise this post might sound a bit schmaltzy or lovey dovey, or soppy, but I’m allowed at least one of these right? I’ll keep it short and you might even agree with me.
I realise that this is a fairly common thing to most who become a parent, but if you are not, you might not have looked at it like this.
I realise I could post about being a dad meaning this or that, or doing this, or doing that, but I won’t. There are plenty of good posts around already doing that.
My one point is that as you become a parent, I don’t think you are prepared for the emotional aspect of it. Of course most people tend to expect that they will love their children, but knowing that, and experiencing it are two different things. It is like having an idea about what love is about between two people. It might be a good idea, but it is never quite the same as experiencing it, having your insides spun or turned upside down, or even torn apart.
What this translates as, is many of the things that you imagine would be annoying, or are with others children, such as changing a diaper (nappy in the UK), or getting drooled on, are no big deal. A diaper can be messy (and at various stages I’ve had some bad ones), but sort it out and five or ten minutes later, it is mostly forgotten about.
What this means is that when you get the little smiles, and in the first few years there are limited social skills, so these are genuine, that they are underwritten with the emotional feelings. When you play a little game and your child makes you laugh, it isn’t just a laugh, it has the loving emotion attached with it.
When I play little games with my 16 month old son, I like to try teach him something, but at the least, make him laugh. I like it when he looks back at me with his little knowing smile, when he has discovered something new, and is showing off, using body language to say “look at me”. I try to get some of these moments everyday because they help make my day. It’s the most fun thing.
Most of the other s**t in life doesn’t matter too much. It’s important, but not that important. Doing something for, building something for, achieving something for, or just doing something your child can be proud of, that’s what seems important. Well it does to me. Even if it’s not immediately apparent.
Being a father gives you perspective.
Lexicon word of the day: ephemera.