Tomorrow is my daughter’s first birthday, and as I look back over the past year, I wonder where the time has gone. I am told that this is a common experience for parents (both new and seasoned).
I remember the day before she was born quite well, as I awoke confident that my entrance into fatherhood would not take place for another two weeks (her actual due date was January 3). I went for a run, and thought about how nice it would be to spend Christmas alone with my wife, one final calm before the inevitable storm. While she was away at work, I began organizing things related to my dissertation. I seem to recall even sitting down to write a few preliminary words (most of which have long since seen the wastebasket). Mostly I cleaned, as I was determined to make our house as hospitable as possible for our impending bundle of joy.
That night, Ellen and I enjoyed a truly wonderful dinner with my dissertation director and his wife. We went to the Maharaja, a fantastic Indian restaurant not far from our house. Throughout dinner, the four of us joked that the food was so spicy (in a good way) that it might very well induce labor. Turns out we were right.
When we got home, we went to bed like we usually do, and then, just before midnight, beloved spouse woke me with the news that her water had broken. We headed to the hospital, two weeks earlier than expected, both nervous and excited. 18 (long and tiring) hours later, we met this little one:
And now, a year later:
Watching her grow has been one of the greatest joys in my life.
Happy Birthday, Jane!