We welcomed Jane into the world two years ago today. Hard to believe it’s been that long–even harder to believe it hasn’t been longer (let the reader understand).
Over the past year we have learned much about our little tornado. A few highlights:
- She isn’t shy. Well, maybe at first, but give her five minutes and a little bit of attention and you will have a new best friend.
- She loves cheese. This girl is a midwesterner at heart. She gets that from her mother. Not that I don’t like cheese (I do), but the way that she croons when it is placed before her was not taught. She also loves snow. That comes from her mother as well.
- She is hospitable. Our living room is outfitted with a wooden kitchen that was assembled by my awesome father-in-law. Jane plays with it a lot, but she is most interested in it when we have company over. As soon as she warms to whatever new face has entered the room (see point 1, above), she sets out preparing cookies, cupcakes, juice, vegetables, and other assorted snacks for them. She wants our guests to be comfortable, and I respect that.
- She is curious and smart. Curiosity without intelligence leads to injury. Intelligence without curiosity is boring. Watching Jane explore her surroundings and figure out new ways to get in trouble is as awe-inspiring as it is entertaining. Who knew blankets or plastic eggs could be so much fun?
- She wastes no time. Jane wakes me up every morning. She usually does so by running into our room, with all of her stuffed animals and sometimes a book, screaming at the top of her lungs: “Papa! Da up (get up)!” She wants to eat and she wants to start playing. Who has time to ease into the day slowly?
But I have also become convinced in my two years of fatherhood that our children have a lot to teach us about ourselves. Jane has taught me that I am a lot more patient than I ever thought I was. She has helped me see the beauty in reading the same book several different times, and the simple joy of walking around the block in the morning, coffee in hand, stopping to look at the leaves and letters stamped in the pavement. She has taught me that it is ok to cry for a variety of reasons, that juice sometimes does make you feel better, and that being happy is the superior choice.
Above all, Jane has taught me that fatherhood is hard; it is the gift that keeps on giving and taking. But despite the challenges it brings, Jane always finds a way of reassuring me that I’ve somehow managed to pull it off.
Happy birthday to my little girl. You make me proud every day.