Becoming a dad has been an eye opening experience to say the least. The moment our daughter, Isabella, came into this world, I had a feeling that I can only describe this way:
For the last 35 years, I had been living in another dimension. Recently, in this dimension, I felt I had everything figured out. I knew what my role was in my marriage, I was good at my job, I was taking care of business. I knew what love was and felt lucky to have lots of it. I could essentially do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted (within reason). Between a full-time job, and a small business, my biggest concerns were finding time for personal photo hunting, keeping up a blog, coming up with ideas for a new blog (wink!wink!)…. reading books/my Kobo, deciding what amazing tv series I would follow, keeping up with new movie releases and…. from time to time, thinking of an idea for a book. Oh, and getting back to excercising again (I think about this one a lot – that hasn’t changed). I look back at that old dimension as the Selfish Dimension. I like to think I’m a pretty good, attentive husband, but by and large, that dimension was all about me, me, me.
Then Isabella was born.
In what seemed like an instant, I was snapped into a dimension we’ll call REALITY. Now, before I go further, you should understand that this is not a bad thing – this Reality – it’s actually quite nice, once you accept it. Seeing my wife, Amy, go through labour and delivering a child, and then seeing said child, Isabella, screaming and shivering her way into the world, I suddenly realized things have definitely changed.
I felt like my head and body were flooded with….. with….. something. I can’t find a word for it, but it was fluid in it’s nature, and warm, and heavy and I was filled to the brim with it. I felt like life’s volume (with all it’s distractions) had been turned waaay down and I was focused on my new family. In a way, I felt enlightened because it was at this point that I realized I previously knew …well ….almost nothing. I realized that the things that were previously important in the Selfish Dimension, were not so important over here in Reality.
Love is a lot different over here in Reality, as well. It’s deeper, and more substantial. There are elements present, that never existed before. I have never experienced anything that I would feel comfortable describing as limitless – until now.
I was talking to my sister on the phone last week. We were talking about the experience of having children, and she said something to the effect of, “It’s everything you’ve ever wanted, but didn’t know you did.” In a way, that says it all. In fact, maybe I should have just started this blog entry with that quote and called it a day, instead of making you wade through the inadequate, wordy mess I put together to try and say the same thing. ‘It’s everything you’ve ever wanted, but didn’t know you did.’ Yep.
Anyway, amongst all the wonderful things I’m experiencing as a new dad, one of my favorites is watching my wife breastfeed our little girl. It’s simply precious. Here’s a photo of when Isabella was just a few days old.
I love to watch the connection building between Amy and Isabella. There is something so beautiful and pure about seeing your wife nurturing and nourishing your baby. And I appreciate what Amy is doing, because on days that are particularly trying and long, she sometimes feels like a refrigerator. And on at least one occasion, a cow. So it’s not always a warm and cozy event.
But Amy is much more comfortable at this point, and I am truly happy I have photos like the one above that, I feel, captures the bonding experience between the two women in my life. Because this experience is precious. It is special.