Reflections on Fatherhood

This is just a stream of consciousness about the experience of fatherhood:

  1. When the struggles with Avery and Margot began toward the end of the pregnancy, I had never felt so defeated, alone, or weak. I didn’t handle it well, and I suspect I’m still recovering from that. 
  2. That’s not a complaint, it’s just a shift in perspective. Before fatherhood, I easily recovered from sorrow due to death or the fear thereof. Other things got me down. But rarely the near death or sickness of people I knew.(not sure why, I was just wired that way)
  3. The stresses of parenthood are like those of every life change. The passions of the body and soul find new ways to tempt you to sin.
  4. I’ve never been big on sleep, but my sleep is so shallow these days it’s finally catching up to me.
  5. I’ve always been very protective of children and been very aggressive to bullies. But with my own daughter that instinct has multiplied so vastly. When I read ancient literature, the insane lengths of revenge for hurt family suddenly makes sense to me (not that I endorse that). But I have rethought several aspects of my politics and ethics. 
  6. I do more fully understand wha Jesus meant when he said you couldn’t follow him without hating your family. Here’s how: if I had to choose between the whole world and my daughter, she wins every time. I’d build a space ship, turn the moon into the Death Star, and blow up the sun if it would keep her safe. Anyway, Jesus seems to be saying to put that sort of devotion beneath your devotion to him and adherence to his teachings.
  7. I find watching somebody sleep is now a deep joy.
  8. Few processes are more fun than watching somebody learn to be a person from scratch. 
  9. When Jordan Peterson says, “you have to know that you’re a loaded gun, especially around children, or you’ll harm them irreparably” is good counsel. It’s weird how you can suddenly and accidentally get mad at a person who doesn’t even have a will yet.
  10. I make up songs all day now. That’s weird.
  11. Since discovering the pregnancy, I’ve read so many parenting books and so much psychology and evo-psych literature that I’m actually forgetting author names (never done that before…could be sleep deprivation).
  12. Having a child wakens you, profoundly, to the value of a dollar and the beauty of nice neighborhoods. 
  13. Few moments are so heartbreaking as watching my daughter’s pristine worldview get shattered by bumping her head or suddenly getting hungry.
  14. She recently started emulating “I love you.” She makes a weird three syllable sound with her tongue floppping about. It’s the best.
  15. Unless you’re a terrible person who would definitely be a bad parent, you should get your life together and have kids in order to experience meaning in life.

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