The last two years, I had awesome explanations for how I was actually aging backwards. That ended this year.
This year, I turned 29. In itself, not a bad thing. But it’s 29-with-an-8-week-old-daughter, which is 45 in parent years. Many of my friends are in their 30s, but they can all sleep easy knowing I’ll always be older than they are.
The Spawn is two months old now, which means she’s ten pounds and smiles and laughs. Her gift to me was seven straight hours of sleep. It was the first night since she was born that I didn’t have to get up to feed her at least once.
So while I might be older than ever, I’m terminally behind on life, and I’m in a constant state of exhaustion, I could be feeling a lot worse.
I was gonna wait to write a post until I could write something that wasn’t about fatherhood. But everything’s about fatherhood these days, so that’s retarded. I think instead I’ll just run down some highlights from the last month.
-People won’t tell you if your breath stinks, if your fly is down, or if your boss is standing behind you while you rant about what an asshole they are. But they’ll tell you in a second how to raise your child.
-Before I had a kid, I would listen to people who had kids. They would say things like “I wish I could find the time to work out.” And I would secretly think to myself “You have the time, you’re just prioritizing sleep. Cut out an hour of sleep from your schedule, you have the time. It’s what I do. If you wanted it badly enough, you could make it a priority, and you could work out.” Dear people who had kids I secretly thought that about- I am so, so sorry. Please forgive me. Love, Ben.
-The Spawn rolled over at the age of 7 days. No, she hasn’t repeated it since. But we put her on her stomach and she flipped the hell out and did a push-up at the same time her legs spasmed and over she went. It counts. My child is a genius. Alert Yale.
-In the last week she’s discovered how to scream in her sleep. She’s not unhappy. If you go over to the crib, she’s got both eye closed and isn’t moving at all. But she’ll scream. In her sleep. She gets this shit from The Wife.
-A lot of parents write some sort of letter to their child every month. I guess I could do that, but even if I did, it seems weird to post it in public. Also, I managed to work as hard as I think I ever have in advertising, while still having to get up every 3 hours to feed The Spawn. My feelings on this are mixed. On the one hand, now I know I can do it. On the other hand, ouch. So, I put this post up instead, and that’ll do for now.
My wife is resting in a hospital bed across the room, and I should probably be doing the same. Then again, this is the last day of my life as a not-parent. I feel like I should say something about it.
I won’t ever be the person I am tonight again. My priorities, my focus, my entire approach to life will change once my daughter is born.
What’ I’m saying is, this is sort of a Big Deal.
If she’s born tomorrow, that actual date won’t hold much importance to her. Beyond using it as proof of identity, I don’t attach any real emotional significance to what happened on June 20, 1983. June 20, 1996 was pretty great. And 2004 was epic. But it never occurred to me until tonight what that birth date must mean to my parents. To me, it’s cake and presents. To them, it’s the day their son was born.
That’s really pretty awesome, in the original sense of the word.
If the first chapter of my life was growing up, and the second was independence and marriage, tomorrow or the day after will clearly begin the third chapter. So, here we go. I expect the next post will be the one introducing my daughter.
End Chapter 2.
It’s gonna be nothing but baby posts from here on out.