A year ago today, we were inside snuggling a little 6-pound, 6-day-old amoeba. There was no question of leaving the house, as everything inside was as perfect as perfect as could be. This year we could have tried doing something, but didn’t plan ahead. Presently, this poor little nugget has two sharp incisors emerging like tiny glaciers tearing through the landscape of his gums, and the soundtrack of our evening is more likely to be agonized wailing than whatever is playing in Times Square. I’m trying not to think about it too much, so instead let’s look backwards.
After a 2014 that began dominated by grief and continued into 9 months of anxiety and stress, 2015 was mighty awesome. We’ve experienced so much that it would be impossible to properly cover everything, so instead I present 15 reflections on our past year:
3 Things I Learned about Parenting
- While the volume of work and the time commitment is gargantuan and overwhelming, the job itself is easy. I started out needing to ask our midwife for tips on how to hold a newborn and here, a year later, I feel like a pro.
- The amount of stuff a baby requires is colossal. My brother compared our house to a palace for Egg and his stuff. Other apt comparisons would be: funhouse, warehouse, depot, shrine, library, emporium, madhouse.
- Sometimes 100% effort isn’t enough to make everything better (see note above about tiny glaciers and agonized wailing), and there’s nothing wrong with that. At those times we just have to come together and stick it out as a family.
3 Big Things that Happened
- A close family member was diagnosed with cancer and a few months later came away healed and stronger than ever. A miracle of medical science, a reaffirmation of the preciousness of life, an epic win.
- A year of good feelings in Toronto: things just went ahead pretty nicely here this year. We had a new mayor to start the year, successful Pan Am games, Blue Jays mania, new Star Wars, elected a progressive new government we don’t need to be ashamed of (and dare I say can feel almost proud of?). Closer to home, we became much better acquainted with our hopping little east-end neighbourhood and the lovely people in it.
- I took a six-week parental leave from work that allowed me to learn more about my kid and my partner’s day-to-day experience than I could have imagined, while having tons of fun. It also gave me the headspace I needed to start this little website. If you have a little one at home or on the way and are considering whether or not to take a leave from work: do it.
3 Things I Learned about Myself
- Even with a miniature human life on the line, I have stayed true to my easygoing ways. I haven’t stressed about parenting nearly as much as I expected I would.
- In a pinch, 7 hours of sleep can last me 2 to 3 days, and in that time I can still safely operate an automobile and passably do my day-job.
- Despite my easygoing ways, I learned that in my protectiveness for my son there’s a deeply buried seed of terrible violence. A few imagined threats (sketchy people sauntering towards us on the street, drivers speeding towards cross-walks) gave me a glimpse of this seed, and it was really something new. I sure hope I never have to see that seed grow into anything.
3 Things I Learned about my Son
- He is tenacious, capable and very driven. Like his mother.
- He will eat dog food at any opportunity, and will tenaciously try to circumvent his parents in order to access the dog food without interruption.
- At one year old, he is already the most delightful person I could ever hope to meet.
3 Resolutions for 2016 – More, more, more!
More sleep!LMFAO LOL ROFL haha j/k maybe in 2017.
- More friends! Working from a home office during the day with childcare responsibilities in the evenings makes adult interaction outside the house a bit of a challenge, but it’s one I need to rise to. There are some really good people in my life, and this year I want to spend more time with them.
- More presence! I absolutely love new technology and find it legitimately magical that I can access almost the entire collection of human knowledge wherever I am, any time. But this shit ties us down every bit as much as it sets us free. My son is better than the internet, he deserves my undivided attention more often. I resolve to dramatically cut down on the time a phone is in my hand while he is in the room.
- More writing! The clarity I get from writing this blog, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction I feel when I review a piece that was thoughtfully constructed and handsomely written, is a gift I give myself. Thank you, dear reader, for being here with me. Next year I hope to bring more to you and to myself by writing more frequently. This is just too much fun.
Have fun and be safe out there tonight. Best wishes from Descent Into Dadness for the year to come!