суббота, 6 октября 2007 г.

leprojet: My First Week of Fatherhood:

Now that the baby is 7 days + almost 9 hours old: A few people have asked me this week whether it was weird becoming a father. I don't think that's really the right question -- the question is whether it's weird being a father. That answer most of the time is no, but sometimes yes. The day after mommy and baby came home from the hospital, we had to head back out there to get an ultrasound for the baby, to see whether something that one of the doctors noticed in utero was a problem or not. It wasn't, delightfully, but that was one of those weird moments. Not so much the unease of a parent wondering whether their child has a physical problem that needs to be corrected or monitored, but the simple fact that the last time there was an ultrasound, she was an 'it' and was still in the womb. That was weird -- that combination of things. This ultrasound, the baby had a name and I knew who she was; last time, she was Das Baby -- a neuter (and a grammatical quirk that definitely shielded me and abetted my desired NOT to know the baby's sex before she was born [a sentence that doesn't really read like what it was meant to say, does it?]). That's a strange moment. Looking at my baby as she's kicking around or moving her arms and remembering our vacation in Finland in June, when I felt her kick the first time -- that's a weird moment. Becoming a father? That bit was easy -- it simply happened. One minute I was not; the very next I was. Fatherhood as a becoming was just that: an instantaneous was. Not a thing strange about it: that little head pushed out, I cut the cord and hovered while the doctors weighed and measured, then took her down the hall to get her little collarbone looked at by the pediatrician on at that time. Being a father? That'll be a bit to the "weird" scale for some time to come, I think. There's one thing, though, that I wish I had had the ability to appreciate before all of this started: Adjusting is a process. That's an easy word to understand, but not to truly appreciate. I was doing myself no favors trying to force things on and from myself early in the week, and when I relaxed enough to see things happening piecemeal, I started to feel better (read: considerably less uptight and stressed). I'm starting to appreciate that it's a process, and I find that I'm enjoying that process more as I let it happen. It's an incomplete and imperfect understanding, but it's helping, and while I can wish that I had really understood this beforehand, I also know I never could have. This whole fatherhood thing is great!

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