A Decade of Daddying

“It’s that moment before. Before it all changes and becomes what it is to be.”

These words from Janice Cartier’s blog run through my mind as it sweeps back into the past, to a magical moment exactly ten years ago.

It was my ‘moment just before’. A moment that would irrevocably change my life. A moment that opened the door to the best period of my existence.

With vivid clarity, I recall the sights, smells and sounds – even my turbulent feelings – as I waited nervously outside the operating room for news of my baby’s arrival.

I fell in love at first sight – and a decade of daddying has only intensified several-fold that powerful initial emotion.

The journey since then has been one of dizzying highs, spiced with some nerve-wracking moments of stress and anxiety. Of delightful hours interspersed with occasional frustrating minutes.

It has been as much a journey of self-exploration and discovery, as one of learning and experience.

Heart-warming giggles. Stern faced cooking instructions. Wise philosophical observations. Deeply insightful remarks. Long, lazy, leisurely evening walks. Cozy tight hugs.

All these and more have become fond, precious, treasured memories of being a first-time dad.

With almost a shock of surprise, I realize today that a full decade has flown by since that mystical day.

Our helpless infant is now a self-confident young girl. Soon, she will step across the threshold of womanhood into a chaotic world of adolescence, and then an uncertain adult universe.

Through it all, I must keep redefining my role as ‘daddy’. Learn all the way as I go along. Get wiser (and grayer haired!). Do the job well, or stumble, falter and fall. Enjoy, cherish and thankfully relish every moment of the journey ahead, as I have the adventure thus far.

Savor the “moment before” – as it turns into what it is to be.

Happy birthday, sweetheart!