It’s hard to believe that M. turns one year old today. I’m not sure what’s harder to comprehend, though. The changes we’ve made as a family over those 12 months, or the amount of development in M. over that same time. You look at a one-year-old and imagine all of the growing, skill discovery and mastery she still has to do. But really, she will never grow as fast as she has since her birth. Six pounds, eight ounces to somewhere around 24 lbs. now. 19 inches to roughly 27. I doubt she’ll ever triple her weight in a calendar year again. And when you evaluate her skills, she’s really only short walking and talking from being a complete little human. She may not be able to fend for herself in the wild quite yet, but there are few vital skills for survival that she is lacking. She’s gone from a tiny little creature that could only cry and sleep to a bundle of energy that expresses many emotions, makes you aware of her wants and needs, and for the most part does what she wants when she wants.
The personal changes have been amazing as well. Forget all the other non-baby-related issues S. and I have dealt with over the past year. Just learning how to be parents, how to adjust our lives to make room for another human being, and how to create a base for raising a relatively normal family is a pretty staggering process. I’ve definitely had my share of bad days and nights. Talking with other parents, you learn that you’re not alone, and the fact you find some small way to keep your wits about you during the worst of times is a success.
Despite those isolated moments, I can say without qualification that fatherhood is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced or done. We’re lucky that we have a very healthy and happy baby. There’s nothing like the feeling of your child clinging to you when she needs comfort, laughing when you play peek-a-boo with her, or how she shrieks something that’s very close to “Hi Daddy!” when she sees you for the first time each day. People can compliment you on something you’ve created or accomplished and you feel pleased if humble. When people compliment you on your child, though, there is the truest sense of satisfaction, pride, and accomplishment you can possibly imagine.
In a few hours, M. will get some cake and some presents. She’ll have no idea what’s going on. She also won’t realize how profoundly she’s changed our lives and how overjoyed we are to have her.
(Yes, I’ve rigged the Now Playing song to something my astute readers will recognize the significance of.)
Now Playing: <strong>Float On</strong> from the album “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” by <a href=”http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Modest%20Mouse%22″>Modest Mouse</a>