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.