Amid all of the reactions and gifs and videos on social medial today, it was a single tweet of thirteen words from a man and writer that I respect that struck me the hardest.
My second child, my second daughter, turns two today.
My first, the oldest, is an eight-year-old that acts like she’s 14, and since there is such a large gap between number one and number two – for a very, very, very, very good reason – the past two years have been a refresher course in infant and toddler life.
One question that COVID-19 has brought to the forefront of our societal conversations is, Who are the essential workers?
The first professions that immediately spring to mind are obvious: doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers. However, the pandemic has proven that there are additional tiers and classes of essential workers, including grocery store employees, delivery drivers, warehouse employees, non-frontline healthcare employees, and teachers.
My wife and I are in these last two categories.
I’m not a journaler by nature.
Yes, I have written down my innermost thoughts on occasion, but generally I jot down short quick notes on almost everything that pops into my brain that I then compile to use later for writing that I will publish, either here or in my newsletter.
Yet I felt that living through a time when a viral droplet infection — a silent, invisible killer — raced across the globe and was documented in real time was as good an occasion as any to keep a daily record of my thoughts.
We’ve all seen it — an image of a father and his child, perfectly framed, beautifully lit, adorned with smiles and a caption of how much they adore being a parent.
I look at those photos and I’m envious. I have a few of them, but not a collection like some I’ve seen online. I’ve been to wonderful places with my children and we’ve experienced some fantastic things, but nearly all of my pictures are either selfies or family poses that often look forced.
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
— James Barrie
It’s a cliché that having a child changes your life forever, but things become clichés because they’re true, and one of the biggest adjustments is just how much stuff children come with and how difficult it is to keep it all organized.
As a father of girls…
I began playing organized basketball at the age of six.
By the age of ten, I was playing year-round for various travel teams in various leagues, almost always in the age bracket above mine. There was never an offseason. Camps, practices, summer leagues, fall leagues, spring leagues, open gyms – I did it all. When state rules prevented us from holding official practices, we all met at our point guard’s home and conducted practices on the full court in his backyard.
Basketball was an everyday thing.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”Robert Louis Stevenson
My second time visiting an operating room as an expectant father was different from the first in a variety of ways.
It was in a different hospital in a different city with different doctors.
Most of all, though, it was planned.
The baby was so big that a Cesarean section (C-section) was scheduled on the morning of her due date. We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., my wife was being prepped at 7:30, and she was taken into the OR at 8:30.
At 9:07 a.m., we had a big, healthy baby girl.
For the second time.
When our brand new daughter was first given to us, my wife looked at her and said, “It took so long for you to get here.”