It’s been a while since I’ve written anything and it’s not because nothing worthwhile has happened either. I’m a proud new father of a baby girl and in the months leading up to the big day there was a ton of things flooding my mind regarding fatherhood. As soon as she was born it was like my brain fell out of the back of my head. I know all the long time parents reading this just cocked their heads to the side and their now doing the knowing nod and smile. All the Junior High students reading just had an epiphany and are thinking, “that same thing must have happened to my dad”. I know I don’t have a whole lot of fatherhood experience but here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Fatherhood is like a mental black hole. I’ve sat down numerous times to try and blog about the experience and… nothing. It’s not that my heart isn’t full of love for my baby girl, ‘cause it is. It’s not that I don’t feel or think anything worthy of blogging about her, because I do… I just can’t find the words. I’m speechless. She’s 3 weeks old today and I’m finally catching my breath and my thoughts are finally starting to form at least partial sentences in my brain. I still feel almost like life just restarted and everything that I knew I have to learn all over again.
Fatherhood is a new level of… everything. It hasn’t been as overwhelming as I suspected or in the ways that I expected but then again, I’m a fairly laid back guy and don’t stress out very often. I have had a couple moments with just me and Zoe where I’ve gotten lost in the moment and shed some tears but I definitely expected more waterworks. I couldn’t even get through the vows at my wedding without balling and expected much of the same in the delivery room but it never happened. Fatherhood is a new emotion. I’m not sure what to call it. It’s also a whole new level of tired, (there’s the knowing nod and smile from veteran parents thinking “you have no idea”) and a vastly different intellectual journey than any I have ever been on.
Fatherhood is weird. The only word coming to my mind is weird. I mean it’s awesome, and emotionally incredible, and I’m blown away at how this little 8 pound, helpless, baby can just melt my heart. But it’s still weird. I wish I could verbalize it for you better but I can’t. I now empathize more with that “you’ll understand when you’re a parent” phrase that I have always hated. It’s something that I think you probably have to experience in order to understand.
Fatherhood is… well an experience that has definitely changed my life.