I am still amazed that I have a kid. I look in the mirror and do not see a dad. I see an aging Rock and Roll Peter Pan who has lost way too much sleep over the course of my of my lifetime, due to too much fun, too many chemicals and not enough anti-anxiety medicine. Now the sleep situation has gotten even worse, and the lines on my face too much resemble Keith Richards'. And I ain’t even in his league for debauchery—let alone the number of children fathered.
I can see way too much of my self in my daughter. She’s inherited my high-strung nervousness and anxiety—I can tell by the way she wrings her hands repeatedly as I did all through my childhood…but at least it seems she’s inherited my curiosity too. She looks everywhere at everything. And I know already how much she loves music. The "Banana Splits" theme song is her current favorite—but I tell people I’m singing the refrain to Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” just to appear a bit more high-brow. (Listen to them both—same melody, no kidding.)
I’ve been a dad for over three months now and I’m still trying to fit into the persona of a father, which is about as easy for me as trying to fit into a badly cut off-the rack suit. And when I look at my daughter, I am humbled by her very presence. Her perfection reminds me in so many ways of all my flaws.
She smiles at me for no other reason than she sees me. I make her happy just with my presence. Hell, that never even worked for my mom. And my wife, bless her soul, gets even less sleep than I do. But she gets to spend so much more time with her. To walk away from that face every morning is torture.
My wife and I have managed to go out socially a few times this month—thanks John and Martha—but all I do is think about her. Who know I’d love her this much?
But I know in my bones that she will be a true hellion as she gets older. My mom cursed me that I’d have a child just like me when I was a kid. And that’s the scariest part of all about being a dad.
Although you gotta love the tax break! First of 18!! Woo hoo!
Next time…the joys of teething, the pleasure of spit-up, and the bliss of tantrums.