You have lived your life through your own eyes all of your life, but the moment you find out you’re a father, your eyes are no longer your own.
Life up until fatherhood is pretty much smooth sailing. You may have done some traveling, found the person of your dreams or bought a nice place in the suburbs or city.
Then one day, while you are sleeping, your wife wakes you up and says honey, Baby, Baby!
When I found out we were having a child, like any Dad, I thought we were having a boy. But male ego was not my reason. You see, in my family, only 2 female off-springs have been produced within the past 30 years. Why would I be any different?
So when my daughter Lily was born on New Year’s Morning (12:45 AM to be exact) my exact response when I saw he was a she was, “IT’S A GIRL!”
At that precise moment, my life, the way I knew it to be, was over and I was more than fine with that. I was proud. I became a Dad. So as excited I was to be a father, the uncertainty of raising a girl concerned me. I started to think about inane questions such as:
Do I want to raise her in a world of perpetual pink and unicorns?
How do I make pig-tails if mommy is not around?
How do I play with a little girl?
All of these questions, as ridiculous as they are, felt real. Eventually, you will learn as I did, that the answer is right there in front of you. As your child grows, you grow with them.
Within days I found miracles in every little thing she did, that 9 months prior I would have been a fool to appreciate. For instance:
- Watching your child stare at her hand.
- Having your child look at you for no reason as you hold them.
- Watching them play
- Watching them sleep
- Enjoying how excited they get when Elmo’s World comes on TV (well maybe the first 30 times)
- The first time they say, Daddy.
- The first time you realize you are playing catch together.
You watch them do these little things, but in your mind it’s the greatest thing you have ever seen. You end up taking 5 million pictures and tweet your pics to complete strangers. Even taking pictures of their first poop! Yes, I come from that kind of family.
For new Dad’s or soon to be Dad’s, you will soon see that there is more positive that will come your way than anything negative. Yes, you will be pooped, peed, spat and vomited on. You will wake up every three hours and sing the Bee Gee’s “You Should be Dancing” so she stops crying at 3:00 AM. But once she starts sleeping longer, you will realize, it is all worth it and you’ll do it again.
A few years will go by and you will ask yourself if you are doing a good job as a parent. Then while driving in the car, Rock and Roll All Nite by KISS comes on your iPod and she starts to sing along. That is when you look up at the big guy upstairs and share a wink.
The journey of parenting is always perpetual. To misquote Willy Wonka, The suspense is exhilarating… I hope it’ll last.
Danny Deraney is the proud father of a two-year-old daughter and Publicist and PR Executive for Deraney Public Relations. Please follow on twitter @dannyderaney or visit www.dannyderaney.com to hear his tales of fatherhood.