April 27th, 2015 was a very strange day in my life.
It was a Monday. I’d taken the day off of work. Alex was recovering from the gallon of sedation necessary to have him groomed. Our refrigerator had just frozen over, so all of our perishables were sealed in coolers on the kitchen floor. And we were 24 hours from my daughter being born.
Looking back, I had no idea what lie ahead of me. But I do remember feeling a sort of finality that night when I went to bed. The closing and shelving of the pre-fatherhood Book of Jeremiah, and the start of Life A.D[aphne].
I recognized that things would never be the same, but I didn’t know how exactly they were going to differ. Or how much. Or what exactly was going to change inside that man who went to sleep on 27th, versus the guy who (sort of) slept at the hospital on the night of the 28th.
I just knew that it would be different.
And I wasn’t wrong.
But I was wrong about one thing.
The changes don’t stop.
This is probably obvious to most of you, but I’ve learned that fatherhood is an ever evolving thing, the definition of which changes as my little girl grows up. Meaning the man she needed 364 days ago is not the man she needs today. And today’s Daddy will be a far cry from the Daddy she’ll need a year from now.
I guess I just assumed there’d be a “FATHERHOOD” switch that would get flipped, and suddenly I’d just turn into a daddy, albeit sans the cargo shorts, cell phone holster, socks with sandals, and strange affinity for The Golf Channel.
But that’s not the case.
What I’m really facing is a marathon of constant personal revisions, all in an effort to keep up with the changes in my little girl as she grows up.
Turns out “daddy” is not a constant.