(I’m writing something every* day for #100days. This is post 96/100.)
Seven weeks into being a new Dad, and it feels like I got caught in an avalanche.
Some days it feels like I’m controlling the speed of the fall, but then something happens — he doesn’t sleep for three hours, he gets suddenly sick, he goes through a leap — and I realise I’m not controlling anything.
I sit down on Sunday evenings and meekly plan out the upcoming week.
Then suddenly it’s lunchtime on Saturday and and I look back on the week in a daze and ask — “what just happened?”
I commit to regular exercise, and then I’m grasping for every extra minute of sleep before work starts again, exercise plans be damned.
I commit to no more beer on weeknights, and then on Tuesday afternoon, the thought of a glass of Asahi sounds like sweet symphony to frazzled nerves.
I commit to writing, to cleaning the house, to finishing my taxes — and then I find myself in the dark at 9pm, my back aching, my head a muddled mess, Jules asleep, semi-comatose beside me — and I wrestle with myself internally for an hour, just trying to coax myself to go upstairs and brush my teeth.
I commit to cutting my fingernails by end of day Monday and it’s Friday before I get the chance.
I control nothing any more.
I’m just reacting.
At work I find myself watching and re-watching videos of him that Jules sends me during the day.
I close my eyes for just a few seconds of respite at my desk, and his little face pops on to the back of my eyelids.
I find myself racing home, my heart jumping in anticipation of seeing him.
I get in the door and call out his name.
And even now, even at 7 weeks, he knows my voice.
His head whips around and his eyes, still learning to focus, dart around the room, trying to connect the sound and the shape.
And that acknowledgment. That trust. That little unformed reaction fills me with the most intense joy and wonder.
I think back to my seven-weeks-ago life and all I find is ruins.
A child decimates your old life to the point you can’t imagine it ever returning.
But there isn’t a moment of resentment.
You feel these weird, tired, strained emotions.
And then you see his little eyes blinking up at you in the dark.
You hear him cry out at night, and then you hold him close to you and the crying stops.
You’re what he needs.
In that moment, you’re all he has.
And it’s everything.