The Free Dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fatherhood) defines the term ‘fatherhood‘ to include
(1) the state of being a father
(2) the qualities of a father
While I am taking the easy way out here and agreeing with the definition, the fact remains that these two meanings/definitions pretty much encapsulate all that there is to fatherhood. The terms “state” and “qualities” are broad enough to encompass all that fatherhood brings with it such as the drooly smiles, the messy mealtimes, the hilarious attempts at dancing to songs, the thoughtful babbling with rapid hand gestures, the joyful screaming tantrums, all of it.
R turned all of one year old on 25-Aug and man, did the birthday bring back a flood of memories or what!!! I sat down with all the pictures that we had taken of R during the year and it was so hard to believe that the little one had grown up so much during the course of just one year. While the year itself had run past both my wife and me in what seemed like a short time, the fact still remains that our daughter has just traversed what probably was the most important year of her life quite well.
All the important milestones, turning around on her tummy, sticking up her neck on her own, crawling forward, sitting up, standing up with support, standing up without support, babbling her first few baby words, walking a few steps on her own, all of these were done in good time. Her weight-gain has been normal, her teething has been normal, her verbal abilities are normal, wow, given that she has done all of these, she has pretty much has had an extremely busy year, hasn’t she!!!
In the process of this one year, both my wife and me have learnt a lot about each other and ourselves in terms of our ability to handle our patience levels, handle our levels of sleeplessness, our levels of tolerance to each others’ stupidities, overall I believe that R has managed to help us understand each other like never before in the last 5 odd years of our marriage. Additionally, R has also managed to redefine both my wife’s and my professional goals as well, in an extremely positive manner. At various levels now both of us understand our priorities in life and have adjusted our professional ambitions and goals accordingly.
I could go on and on about how much fun and laughter R brings to our everyday lives, but then trying to put those feelings in words would just be an exercise in futility as they are emotions that need to be experienced for oneself rather than narrated. The fact that the very thought of these things brings a smile to my face speaks volumes to the impact they have had on me. Suffice to say that R has brought a smile to my face whenever I think of her and I owe a lot to her just for this.
There is such a long way to go before R develops her own personality, grow her wings and starts flying on her own. The conscious realization that her personality is going to be impacted by her upbringing, her environment, her circumstances does weigh down heavily on me at times. But it is this same realization that makes me want to be a better human being, a better dad and it constantly keeps me on my toes to keep questioning each and every little decision that I make and carefully weigh the consequences of these decisions. So far, this exercise has helped me in clarifying my priorities whenever there have been conflicts and I am sure at the end of all this, I will emerge a far better person than I otherwise would have been.
Wow, what intended to be a ‘fun post’ about R’s first birthday turned out to be quite a philosophical post and all that. Guess that’s the effect that little daughters have on fathers, huh!!!
Image courtesy : Google Images search for ‘dad baby hands’ 🙂
PS: This post has been selected for BlogAdda’s “Spicy Saturday Pick” on 1st September, 2012.