Some might say I’ve been blessed to spend time with my daughter most fathers don’t get. But with a new child on the way, how might things change?
The Sink Is Full Of Fishes
“Play ‘Some Might Say‘,” came the cute little voice from within the kitchen.
I immediately put down my new (What’s The Story) Morning Glory vinyl, jumped into the kitchen and snatched up my 3 year old daughter Addison for an elated hug.
She knew the name of one of my favorite Oasis songs! Better yet, she recognized the album it came from!
But it didn’t stop there. About half an hour later after breakfast, I heard her singing the song’s refrain from the bathroom (and yes, I recorded it)!
It was Saturday morning. Day 2 of our father-daughter weekend. My wife, and Addie’s mother, Emily, had been out in East Tennessee since Thursday night. She would be gone until Monday evening on a set teaching job for a film production. So I was on my own policing the chaos of the house until her return.
And with four cats (plus one wandering outside), two dogs, and a three year old child, it can certainly be chaos.
That’s without factoring in things like “how do I choose what clothes for Addie to wear?” or “when was the last time she had a bath?” or “she can handle Die Hard right?”
I jest. Surely she can handle Die Hard.
But in all honesty, I felt I could handle the chaos. In fact, I really wasn’t that concerned about it.
I had something else on my mind.
Some Might Say That We Should Never Ponder
When Addie was born back in 2014, I was in a much different phase of my journey. That’s a light way of saying I was technically unemployed! I had quit my job the year before in an attempt to get our production business up and going, but while the “up” had been no problem, the “going” had been a struggle.
As a result, when our first little bundle of joy came into the world, apart from some freelance jobs I was picking up here and there, we were operating on one income. A difficult and trying experience to have, for sure, but it was also a blessing.
Because when Emily went back to work after her maternity leave, I got to spend the kind of time with my newborn daughter that most fathers don’t ever get to spend. It was just me and Addie every day until the school year was over. Roughly 8 weeks or so. If you add the 6 or 7 weeks where I was present during Emily’s maternity leave, you’re talking about a good chunk of time where Addie and I were able to bond.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, often it was terrifying. Looking back, however, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Things are going to be much different this time around. When our son is born this November, I won’t be able to spend those first two or three months with him like I got to do with his sister. I won’t get that same kind of bonding time. I have no idea what to expect when it comes to the kind of relationship that he and I might develop.
But that’s not the only thing that’s going to change drastically.
Some Might Say We Will Find A Brighter Day
It was only a few days before our father-daughter weekend that I came upon the realization that things were soon to change between myself and Addie. Once her brother is here, I won’t be able to devote the same kind of time and attention to her. I’ll have to share our time with someone else. There’s going to be some little crying annoyance invading her space.
When you consider the time I got to spend with Addie right from the beginning – and, really, the time since – that’s a difficult idea to handle. Frankly, I’m not prepared to let go of some of the time I’ve reserved for her, and give it to someone else. I know I will, and I know in the end it will be okay, but I have no idea what to expect.
I suppose, in a way, that’s the downside to the blessing of getting to spend this much time with her, right from birth. At some point, my cup runneth over and that time has to end.
Not an end. A change. An evolution. A growth.
I suppose that’s why I’m so excited she’s recognizing and even requesting some of the songs I like. It’s a reminder, or a confirmation, that that bond between us is actually there. It’s not make-believe. And it will carry into the next phase.
Meanwhile, our weekend was a blast! We had breakfast together; I took her to an impromptu bounce-house place set up in front of one of the parking lots in Hendersonville (she insisted on going in the little suds pool, which I told her would get her soaked, but she insisted and afterward was miserable being wet); we met her godfather at a craft beer taproom in town (family friendly); played at a playground; took a walk around the park; and “camped out” in her bedroom on the final night.
It won’t be the last “us” time we’ll ever have. I know that. But it’s going to be the last one before things change. For her, and for me.
But if I’m lucky, she’ll curl up next to me on the couch and say “Daddy, let’s watch a movie.”
Die Hard it is!