If you had told me years and years ago that I’d be the father to a two year old I’d look at you as if you had a bear sprouting from your head.
It just wasn’t in my mind, in my thoughts, or in any sort of vague plan I might have had.
The thing about life though is that it is nothing if not surprising.
And you can color me surprised as my daughter celebrates her second birthday today.
It feels crazy, but it’s true.
You hear it all the time but it is strange how quickly they grow because at this age there is such a change from infant to baby to toddler and you can track it all day by day.
One day they are struggling to stand and a few days later they are toddling along and not long after that they are walking and then running. We are so caught up in our own heads, and our jobs, and daily lives, and a hundred other things and all while that is happening we are ground level with these little ones and not realizing how much they are changing day by day.
Lily was born not that long into the new day, really, during the dead of night, and it was a quick birth, born near election day of a dangerous time.
It’s fitting then that her second birthday comes during the elections and a blood moon.
Whatever it means, it means whatever.
She continues to surprise us, to challenge us, to scare us, and to impress us.
I constantly feel like the worst father around and while I know that’s not quite the case, I do see soooooo much I need to improve on.
But that’s what this is, learning on the job.
Like life itself.
You just have to hope that you don’t screw the kiddo up too much in the process.
Sheesh, what an endeavor.
I adore her laughter, which is so pure, and silly, and honest.
I hate her tears, and that something I have done could frustrate or upset her so much as to make her feel that way.
I fear for her future, as a woman, as a free thinker, as an American in a country that seems bent on self-destruction.
I take heart in her resilience and intelligence.
I hope that I don’t do so much that she comes to hate me and that as she ages she will have a time where she values me in her life, after the time where she needs the space to become her own person.
Not long until she’s nearing school and we have to figure what that means.
What everything means.
She has survived Covid, she has survived the flu, colds, RSV, bumps, and bruises, and even a bite at daycare.
She’s a tough kid, and I love her with all there is of me and am curious to see where this journey takes us next.
Happy Birthday, Mae-Mae.