Kudos to you for coming back around – it’s been a long hiatus from blog-ville, though I bet you figured out what was going on in my absence. That’s right…my son, Dashiell Llindhe (pronounced DASH-ul LIN-dee) entered the world in the wee morning hours of January 24th, 2007 (2:44 am for those of you who are astrologically inclined and who are reaching for your ephemeris), and it’s been non-stop fun ever since! Mostly it’s been a crash-course in “what my parents must have gone through,” although thankfully our society has learned a lot about childcare/breastfeeding/etc. in the past 33 years, enough so that we know we can let our child sleep where he’s happiest and eat ‘til his tummy’s full when he’s hungry. My mother likes to bring up how when I was born her doctor told her to switch breasts every two minutes while I was trying to eat, so just as I was getting settled into my meal it would be abruptly interrupted, on and on every two minutes, until I think I would just get fed up and go into freak-out mode. We’ll save the commentary on that for a later post. Meanwhile, my wife and I are slowly getting the hang of things, slowly coming back into balance, slowly catching upon missing sleep, and slowly emerging from our seclusion.
After a bit of contemplation, the family has decided to start happydash.com, where we will be posting pictures of Dash (you all remember him as “boober” from this post) in all his mostly smiling glory, along with our thoughts on parenting, cool stuff for babies, fun things to do with your baby/toddler/child/teenager, and words of wisdom from the dash himself. That site will also help alleviate my guilty conscience for when I write about things other than dash on neilsattin.com.
All is well here – Dashiell is up to 12 pounds (he was 8lbs 3oz at birth) – and all the sustenance comes directly from his mama (if you know what I mean). He sleeps in 2-3 hour increments, and we’ve worked ourselves up to generally one 4 or 5 hour stretch in the middle of the night. And during the day we have all sorts of opportunity to interact with him – he tends to be very calm, aware, and talkative! Every so often we’ll echo something back at him that he’s said, and he’ll give us that look of “hey, did you actually understand me for once?!?” We still keep meaning to break out the baby sign language book, which hopefully we’ll do before he turns 12.
Everyone always says that having a child “changes your life” – a suggestion that’s so patently obvious that I always overlooked its truth. I assumed that they meant things like “you’ll never sleep through the night again” or “you’ll always have to work that 9-to-5 job” or “kiss alone time with your spouse goodbye” – all ‘negatives’ and, granted, the product of my own interpretation of their tone and knowing looks. What I’ve discovered, though, is that my life HAS changed.
I think that I feel what my parents must have felt, holding me, staring into my eyes and being so amazed by the new life before them. I think that I understand what true hope is, as I envision a future for my son that allows him to thrive and prosper long after I’m gone (which is still, hopefully, a long ways off J ). I know why my definition of success includes “time” as much as it includes “money” (and “happiness” of course). And ok, I’ll admit it, I now having a working knowledge of tax-deferred ways to put away money for his benefit. So see, my life HAS changed – in way more ways than I can list here – and entirely for the better.
I think it is time for a Dashiell update. I currently have a student named Dashiell, but he calls himslef Dash, plays guitar in a band called Winslow and is much bigger and hairier than your little one…
Hi Toni, Neil and of course Dashiell,
Wow Neil! Every time I read one of your writings, I start to smile from the inside out. You write so eloquently and from the heart. Dashiell is so lucky to have such loving parents, and of course grandparents too. We love you!!!
You popped into my head today, and there’s this thing called Google…
Anyhow, congratulations to you and your wife, and best to Dashiell as well.
I’ve been having a ball going around your site. Your writing is so exciting to read. You certainly have a great command of the language and an inspiring way of putting across your thoughts and feelings. Many years have passed since you were a cute little boy in my second grade class but I have never forgotten you and how much I had to do for “extra” work to just keep you interested. I couldn’t get the music without constant interruptions but what I could hear made me want to hear more….much more. I won’t give up though as I want to hear all of your music. I, too, have always loved music as you can probably remember from having to sing songs for me in school. I still can see you standing on stage and singing “It’s All Right to Cry”. Your Mom keeps me up to date as to Dashiell and on Kiron and Izzy, too. Keep up the great work and I’ll be visiting your site often…just to keep up with what you are thinking and doing!!!! I might even try some of the advice you give on “doing what is important to yourself” as we often don’t do that. Much love to you and your family. Mrs. Mooers