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It's all true…

A friend once tried to communicate to me just how much having his kids changed his life. “You don’t realize the capacity you have for love, to love something, until you have this little person that you helped make, that is part of you, and you will just love it more than you ever thought you could love anything. Ever.”
My response was something like, “Whatever, homo. You’re so gay.” (Before someone has a fit, it was the language of the time, I’m just bein’ all like Mark Twain in Huck Finn and shit, settle down.) After all, we were drunk on hurricanes in New Orleans in the middle of the summer. I think they were called hurricanes, they were these huge slushy drinks. Regardless, we were drunk in some bar in New Orleans, and the last thing I was thinking about was having kids. Maybe I was thinking about making babies, but certainly not having kids.
Besides, I knew what he was saying. I’d had a kitten or two in my life. I understood loving something little and cute. I figured a baby can’t be much different, so long as it is as cute as a kitten. If it’s an ugly baby, well, you can’t love everything.
He wasn’t my first friend to preach the wonders of parenthood to me. A long time buddy would constantly throw “I can’t imagine my life without my son” at me. “I don’t know how I got by without him.” Really? You can’t imagine how you got by without the financial and emotional burden of a screaming, slobbering, shitting, soul-crushing bundle of life-ruining responsibility? REALLY? Have you been struck retarded?
Regardless of my brainwashed buddies, I knew I wasn’t ready to have kids. “You’re never really ready…” they’d say. “…if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never have one.” Okie-dokie, sounds like a plan. “But when it does happen, ready or not, you’ll adjust.”
Well, they…Were…Right.
Actually, everyone is right. Just about everything you hear from people about having kids, raising them, loving them–it’s all true, in one way or another. Maddeningly true. And you go from the denying, from the disbelief, from the apathy of being a single human being only needing to look after yourself, to a doe-eyed, dedicated “parent” in AN INSTANT. Just that quick. POOF, brainwashed.
And now, I am the one telling my childless friends how good it is. How much you will love them unconditionally, how much fun they are, how they enrich your lives by slowly learning to become little yous, or at least, half-yous, and half the other person involved in the humping. Yes, you will sacrifice some of the things that are important to you, like hobbies, or socializing, or, most definitely, sleep. But you won’t do it out of resentment or anger. You’ll do it because THEY need you to, and you won’t even miss it. Well, not as much as you think you will.
As of today, I am ten days shy of being one year into my time as a “parent“. My little girl, Fiona, will be a year old on June 11. It was a frustrating, frightening, and incredibly fulfilling year. At first things were slow, and all she did was sit there and eat, drool, or poop (sometimes all at once). Around four or five months, the real development began, and every day was something new- a new behavior or gesture, new babbling that we can pretend are words, new actions like rolling over, crawling, and as of about a month ago, walking. Every little milestone just fills me up with pride, love, and even more devotion to this little person that is half (some days a little more than half) me.
Even the not-so-great things she does are pretty awesome. For a while, she had a habit of punching people in the face and yelling “OW!”. While I thought this was pretty funny the first few times, we had to break her of that. Luckily, she has discovered pinching to replace it.
She chases the poor cats and the dog around the house all day yelling “cat” or “dog” at them.
She tosses her toys out of the playpen when she wants to be taken out.
She’ll stop doing something when you tell her to, only to return to it when she thinks you aren’t looking.
She “shares” her food with the dog when she has decided she’d done eating (the dog loves that).
The other day, she threw a tantrum and staged a sit-in at the new baby gates we installed to keep her out of the kitchen, hanging on them, trying to climb over them, and throwing books across them to get our attention.
One of the first things she learned to say was a mumbled version of “What’s that?”, and all day long, at home or at day care, she is pointing at random things and going “What’s that?’
She feeds herself, little things, like goldfish crackers, or veggies or cut up fruit, and recently started using a spoon. She is a very messy eater, that drives me up a wall! My wife says it is just because she’s a baby, but I see no reason she can’t be a clean baby.
While many of these behaviors might not be ideal, I love seeing how her little mind works. She is pretty good at figuring things out, she’s very willful, and is fiercely independent (for a less-than-one-year-old, anyway).
Plus, I have fun indoctrinating her into my own nerdy world
This summer is really her first summer. Last year she wasn’t exactly cognizant of her surroundings. This year, she is far more aware, and everything is a completely new experience for her. Her first time eating ice cream, first time in a swimming pool, first time running across a freshly mowed lawn, first mosquito bite, first time seeing newly bloomed flowers, first time being out at dusk when the magic of the dancing lightning bugs begins, and the first time she sees all the other kids running around and playing outside in the summer sun. Each new experience just brings new understanding, ideas, and fun into her fertile little mind.
So, it’s all true. All those evil parental types trying to convince you to give up your wonderful freedom, they aren’t doing it because they want to bring you down. They are doing it to show you the love you may be missing.

22 responses to “It's all true…”

  1. Avatar KFrayz says:

    Wrecked-Um, Thanks for a VERY important reminder…I ALMOST forgot to take my birth control pill today.
    But in all seriousness, this is very sweet and someday I hope your daughter can read it and realize how important she is/was to you!

  2. Avatar David Pasquarelli says:

    Dude, I am so right there with you on every single part. Sylvie will be a year old on JUne 9th. and I have gone through all the phases you mention except I still resent not being able to do my own thing when I want to do it but when I see her little smile and when she laughs I forget all about that stuff, or more realistically, I look forward with great anticipation to teaching her how to swim, surf, sail, fish, martial arts, etc., probably more than doing them myself.
    Congratulations on a turbulent, sleepless and tremendous year one.

  3. paypar paypar says:

    This was nice to read and timely for me. . . I keep hearing this from my friends who have kids and then seeing all the crap they go through and wonder if I'll be able to be this selfless. What if I'm the exception to this rule? But I'm having a drop more faith now.

    • Avatar WreckedUm says:

      I have my moments where I get really annoyed, and frustrated, but it passes. I've been stuck home with her while she is sick, completely housebound (I don't have a back seat in my van to put her car seat in so I can't take her anywhere). THAT was almost a disaster, seriously. But it passes, you forget it, the kid forgets it until it comes up again in later therapy, and everyone is happy.

  4. paypar paypar says:

    PS: Your daughter is a cutie.

    • Avatar WreckedUm says:

      Thank you. I am constantly worried she is too cute. You know, so cute she never has to work for anything…I want a kid cute enough that life comes with ease, but not effortlessly. Then they are just brats.

  5. Avatar disperse says:

    Yea for the pictures of Fiona wearing the Boba Fett jetpack and riding the AT-AT! I think she'll do just fine.

    • Avatar WreckedUm says:

      Dude, the Fett book bag, I just happened to find on ebay for $10!! I couldn't let it go, it was such an awesome idea, like the cut open Taun Taun sleeping bag. she'll get one of those eventually, too.

  6. Avatar Th Tailor says:

    Great take on a life changing experience, dude.

  7. llxt llxt says:

    Your daughter's great and all, but I'm sort of disappointed that you didn't write another uber-popular post about your toy collecting addiction. If that ain't love, I don't know what is!

  8. llxt llxt says:

    Also, we need the hits. ha ha.

  9. Kail Kail says:

    Great piece, Wrecked. I look forward to kids one day, and this blog does a good job describing the mix of happiness and life-ruining 😉 without scaring me too much. Nicely done!

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