When I anchor the early morning news on weekends, I get up at a ridiculously early hour and fumble around in the dark, trying to get my clothes and shoes without waking my wife. This morning, I felt around on the floor for a pair of shoes, found a comfortable pair and carried them downstairs before putting them on. Immediately, I felt something inside both shoes.
I took them off and looked inside. In the left shoe, I found a penny. In the right, a nickel.
After the briefest flash of confusion, I remembered a quiet afternoon recently with my daughter, who had woken up thrilled to find coins in the pocket of the t-shirt she’d worn to bed. In an effort to get her to sleep, my wife and I had created a ‘Pocket T Fairy,’ who leaves coins in the pockets of children–but only kids who the Pocket T Fairy finds fast asleep. The next morning she shouted from her room ‘Mommy, Daddy, I got money in my pocket!’
She had moved those coins around, brought them into our room, and now I was certain, she put one of her coins in each of my shoes. I can picture her doing this, and it makes me smile. It makes my chest warm up with love for her. And in that moment, I decided I wasn’t taking those coins out of my shoes.
So walking to the studio to do the news, I felt the penny in my shoe with every step. And like a Buddhist mantra, each step brought me back to what is truly important in the form of a soft touch from my daughter.
I love that kid.
My wife and I have an agreement when it comes to caring for our daughter, who’s just entered her second year. When we reach the end of our rope, we shout “backup!” Usually, that involves a squirming baby and an outrageously bad diaper that simply can’t be handled by one person alone… or one of us enduring an epic adventure at the high chair, covered with splattered food and a baby more interested in throwing spoons, bowls and food to the floor than eating…
You’re a year old today, and I honestly can’t believe the time has gone by so fast–or that you’ve only been in our lives for twelve months. As I’ve said many times before, while it seems like a matter of hours since I held you for the first time, I also can’t really remember life before you. I only know that life got a whole lot fuller, more wonderful and meaningful on this day last year.
Today, we’ll have birthday cake and open presents and while you may enjoy the wrapping paper more than the gifts, I hope you feel the love of your family and know you’re the center of attention. (Also, if you decide to walk today, that’d be great. But no pressure.)
A year ago, on this day, my wife and I thought we were about to become parents. A routine ultrasound turned quickly into a “you’re being sent directly to labor and delivery” day. Nothing was ready, in fact, my wife had her work bag and was ready to head from the hospital to the office. I don’t remember if we’d had a good night’s sleep the night before (we mostly likely didn’t, being as freaked out in general as we were in those days wondering when the boy we fully thought was going to be a boy was going to decide to show) and I don’t think my wife had had anything to eat that morning. She wouldn’t have anything to eat for the next day and a half.
In a matter of weeks, my daughter will have her very first birthday. It’s mind boggling. The newborn we brought home nearly a year ago has grown into a near-toddler who stands on her own, has a very distinctive (and amazing) personality, loves to laugh and makes me unbelievably happy. She’s really and truly become a kid. A little girl. I look at her sometimes and see the girl she will surely become, and I can imagine her debating me on all sorts of issues small and large. I can imagine her heading off to school–and God help me, I can imagine her dating.
So here’s the thing I struggle with. When will I ever stop worrying about whether she’s breathing? Continue reading
My daughter is just weeks away from her first birthday, and as I’ve probably said more than a few times, I can barely even remember a life when she wasn’t a part of it. She’s never spoken a sentence to me, we’re not sure yet if she’s a leftie or a rightie, we don’t know her taste in music or sports, and yet she’s absolutely changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imaged twelve months ago (when I thought I knew so much, especially after reading all those books on parenting and babies).
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are adding a year of riding facing backwards for kids: recommending that parents continue to use rear-facing carseats until children are two years old–that’s a year longer than previously recommended, and certain to render our massive library of parenting books suddenly out of date.