See Fatherhood Log
@jamesshelley congrats. enjoy it!
@jamesshelley Congratulations! Beautifully written. It’s exactly how I felt 5 years ago when my first was born. All the best.
@jamesshelley Many, many congratulations 😊 That was so expressive and such a wonderful encapsulation of how it feels – it took me right back to almost 20 years ago. Time flies and before you know it they’re grown up and getting married so enjoy every moment.
That kid’s got the two most amazing parents imaginable. I’m totally jealous.
So very excited for you James. May your little teach you big time!! I can see it’s already happening. Congrats to you and Michelle.
Dear James, I am very happy and excited for you! And so pleased that you are logging your paternal journey here. As someone who became a father almost exactly a year before you did, I have particular interest in noting your observations and realisations. I have no doubt that your keen eye, mind and penmanship will help me to see things I hadn’t yet seen – or at least to realise that I’ve seen them. I also delight in noting how far I’ve come in a year (as no doubt you will this time next year), at just how much has happened and changed, at how time has whizzed by in an instant and yet the days when baby was still inside seem – and really are – a lifetime away, part of a life that belonged to a different person.
You’re already experiencing how one’s conception of time shifts completely. Suddenly some things just don’t seem so important. There’s nothing but this moment. Priorities become clear as crystal. Slowing down is not just desirable, but the only way to connect with what is real and essential. Like the fact that I am typing this with one hand while laying in bed although I woke up an hour ago because my daughter is snuggled into my armpit, pinning my arm down, and if I move she will wake up and wake her mum up – and this is not annoying, it’s the most lovely start to a morning I can imagine. Out of all the armpits in the world, she chose mine! What an honour!
One final comment before I do try to peel myself away to watch England v Panama (and if she wakes up, I will carry her downstairs like I’ve done so many times, so often that it feels like what we’ve always done, and we’ll hang out like we always do)
and of course she chooses this precise moment – sensing that kick-off was imminent, perhaps noting my quickening pulse – to wake up, so I roll her over and nestle her into Mummy’s bosom for her morning dose of tailor-made superfood. What a miracle.
Anyway, one final comment, while I listen keenly to see whether she nurses herself back to sleep or calls down for some early morning daddy-daughter time. Just this idea of learning “from someone who presently knows nothing”. I’m realising that my baby knows so much! That true knowledge is not only a collection of facts, experiences and understandings, but that there is also a deep kind of knowingness that lives in innocence. A profound wisdom.
Zen Buddhism has a concept called shoshin, meaning “beginner’s mind”. Becoming a father has allowed to see the world through fresh eyes, to realise how little I know, to see every moment as an opportunity for learning and newness. Much of what we think of as “knowledge” is merely a lifetime’s accumulation of assumptions. Babies don’t have those and in that sense they possess great wisdom; they see each situation for what it is – or what it could be – rather than what their brain says it ought to be.
This feels like it should be a post on my (currently dormant) blog ;)
My friend you and your partner have been blessed by a gift that will be your legacy for generations to come now.
I am so happy for you!
You will be a great parent. Listen to your inner most voice and look into the eyes of your child. Seek the hand of your partner and both of you stand united in the values and the gifts you will now bequeath your child.
May your child be raised under the loving protection of the parents and grandparents for all their life.
With lots of prayers and good wishes for you and your partner on this…the first of many many more joyous moments your child will bring you.
Wow!!! Congratulations – we are so excited for you and Michelle. Loved reading what you wrote. It is fun to go back and live it again through your eyes and thoughts – thank you for sharing. We will look forward to future posts as you journey through the wild rollercoaster ride of parenting.
Hi James and Michelle–congratulations on becoming parents. The blessing that changes your life. My life has been changed by many babies–not my own of course, but those of my friends. Babies bring that remembering of hope and newness and the spark of what it looks like when things are right in the world. As you said, you see the world through a different lens. I love that you wrote this: “I am so humbled by how much I have to learn from someone who presently knows absolutely nothing.” How is it possible, that babies bring so much wisdom for us with them, and yet it is. May you cherish every moment, may the exhaustion give you more opportunities to tell the world about it anyway, and I look forward to sometime meeting your little one and seeing firsthand your beautiful world of papa-hood. And the most important question: when will your little one get a library are?? :) My biggest happy hugs being sent your way.
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