I’ve been brewing lately, thinking on many things.
I realized that I have been writing for Daddy Diaries for a couple years now, I always talk about my daughter’s developments, her growth, attitudes, and her personality. Often I will briefly speak on what I’m learning, but I’ve never REALLY talked about how fatherhood has changed me. It’s been an interesting journey, and it seems that just as rapidly as my daughter, Alexzandria, is growing, as am I.
I recall just over 3 years ago, priorities were in different order; sleep wasn’t such a precious commodity (at least not one I fully appreciated), staying up late and rising early was easy. I was considered mature for my age, but still energetic, fun, and at times wild. I valued education, yet the depth of that value was somewhat shallow. I appreciated my wife, yet, not as much as I would later come to.
Radical, unorganized, spontaneous, and seemingly ever-present… I once could easily be identified by these qualities. I was one to devote ALL of my energy to the causes I saw fit, I seldom planned out anything, and rather enjoyed the spontaneity (honestly, I still enjoy spontaneity) of my life. Hanging out with friends was something I ALWAYS did, without hesitation, as did my wife. Then, along came Alexzandria, and something in me began to transform… I began to suddenly change.
Friends got moved to the back burner, I had little energy or desire for hanging out. I hung out with Alexzandria and my wife, Alison. I began to wrap myself in a cocoon of new priorities, in order to function. Friends said I never made time anymore, I stopped coming in for early hours at work, I started silencing my phone, knowing that my phone was how I made money. I was engulfed in the “family man” experience…and sadly, it couldn’t last forever. Eventually, I had to come out of the cocoon…and it was a struggle.
I had to pull myself away from my astonishment of my daughter, and return to balance. I’m unsure as to when I left the cocoon, all I remember is that the idea of being daddy was incredibly surreal, and somewhat awkward! Yet, one day it seemed I had woken up in full acceptance and recognition that I wasn’t just ‘Daddy,’ I was ‘Daddy,’ personified. It was my most important job to date, and I was enjoying my new found wings!
I enjoyed the beauty of spending time with my child, looked forward to hearing all about what she did that day whilst I was at work, and relished the opportunity to look at all 50+ photos my wife or mother had taken of her that day. My wings of fatherhood were fluttering, and I wanted everyone to see.
I became obsessed with teaching Alexzandria; and still to this day, the greatest compliment you can pay her is not how pretty she is, or how much you like her personality. The greatest compliment you can pay her (in my opinion) is how intelligent and well spoken she is.
Parenting her has transformed me, and is still transforming me. Sure, I’m still a bit unorganized at times, and spontaneous, but my priorities have greatly shifted. My daughter turned my life up-side down, and instead of allowing the blood to rush to my head, I built a cocoon, and allowed the transformation to begin.
Fatherhood can be a painstaking process, but it’s end results are beautiful. So, for everyone who thinks parenting will ruin your life, I have one thing to say: “Check out my wings, baby!”