Hey! You! Pay Attention!

That was today’s message, brought to me by “LIFE”.

So I’ve been quite busy with writing stuff for the last couple months (review requests for NGD, site updates, blog tour posts and interviews for HHNF reveal, revision and submission of several short stories) which has produced some wonderful results which I really could not have anticipated and which I’m very excited about.

Except . . .

Well, the thing is, today we dropped our baby girl off at day care for the first time. Mary was stronger than she thinks she was, right through the expected tears, before heading back to work for the first time in two months. I thought I felt okay, no real tears or pangs, but that’s because the significance didn’t really hit me until later.

Two months.

Our little girl is already nearly two months old. Where did that time go? Yes, there’s been crying, and yes there’s been little sleep, and yes there have been doubts, but these were nothing to the sudden realization and terror that I’ve been letting these precious moments just slip away, hyper-focused as I’ve been on my writing in the hours between the day job and sleep.

Do I mean to say that the writing is bad or wrong? Obviously not. Mary is 300% behind me, and my sincere hope is that these efforts will pay off some day to actually become a livelihood that will allow me to spend more time with my wife and my little girl.

Do I mean that I’ve been a terrible father leaving all the child-rearing to my wife while I play in my own little worlds? Also not true. Mary works all day taking care of our girl, but I take over in the evenings to give her a well-earned break and Mary is very clear that this is helpful.

So what I mean, I suppose, is that though I am not the worst of fathers and though my writing efforts are also done with my family in mind, recognizing that two months have passed already made me realize that I have not been fully appreciating Lillian and Mary and the wonders that are in these times.

For there are wonders in plenty here. The joy to be found in a baby’s smiles, when her eyes are focused on yours, is more powerful than any drug. The weight of her head on your bare chest as she sleeps, the beauty of your partner singing softly to your miraculous newborn child as she drifts off to sleep, the grip of those tiny fingers on your pinkie, even the sudden blank and adorable look she gets when she’s working on going pee…

Okay, maybe TMI there, but I suppose I’ve just learned something else: I guess I’m not as terrible or distracted a father as I thought. This doesn’t mean I’m off the hook, though. I’ve been pushing the limits lately, and I have to be diligent about remembering what’s really important, and being there, in the moment, at all times.

So I guess no smack necessary this time, love ;)

  1. I don’t think there’s a single parent or guardian like parent or person with a family who doesn’t feel the exact same way so many times throughout the week (or even within a day). It’s always hard trying to find the right way to juggle what matters most to you. To juggle family needs and your own.

    I’m not sure there’s a simple answer to figuring out the balance. I think everyone has a different way to manage stuff. You just always have to remember that nothing in life, no matter the amount of success or accompliments, will matter more than the people in your life. Dreams become meaningful because of the ones who stay with us through the journey on the way to the final accomplisment.

    You fight hard to give a legacy to your daughter she’ll be proud to take over (Yes, I’m already believing she’ll follow in Dad’s footsteps *wink*) and that is a noble act. Sacrifice is necessary when fighting for a dream, the goal is to make sure that the sacrifices are the rights ones and to not beat yourself up when they end up taking you away from your family from time to time.

    You’re a great husband (according to thy wife and she would know better than anyone!) and a great dad (I’m sure Lillian would concur if she could voice it herself) so keep working hard,keep believing in yourself, and being more kind to yourself =)

    By the way, Lillian is a lovely name!

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