13 May 2011

A few thoughts from a new dad

Submitted by Paul Brown

I haven't posted much over the last nine months or so, which might lead one to believe that either I have nothing going on to write about or I am so busy that I have no time to write about what is going on. Neither one is probably entirely correct, but reality is closer to the second than the first. There have certainly been a number of significant happenings over the last nine months, the most significant obviously being the birth of my daughter, Claire.

For lots of photos, videos, and details about what Claire is up to these days, Holly has the goods over at her blog. Here you will just find a few musings from a new father about some things that I've learned since Claire's arrival. In no particular order and of no particular significance, here goes:

Infant carseats are huge. I had no idea how much space an infant carseat takes up until I tried to fit Claire's carseat in our Toyota Corolla. I consider the Corolla a normal sized car, maybe a little on the small size, but certainly a fuel-efficient family-friendly vehicle. But the only way that I was able to get the rear-facing carseat into the back seat was to place it in the middle of the seat and move the front seats considerably forward of where we had normally kept them. Although I have become accustomed to driving in the new seat position, it is rather tight and can be a bit difficult for me to get in and out of the car. If the Lord gives us another child, I don't know how we would fit another carseat in the car. There must be a better solution than "upgrading" to an SUV or a minivan!

I am not as patient as I thought. I used to think that I was a patient person. Hardly anything could get me really angry. My most severe frustration was generally not being able to find something that I knew was around—the more specifically I knew where I thought it would be, the worse. But Claire sometimes drives me crazy! She is (now) usually very happy and content and enjoyable to be around. But when she was just a wee newborn and even still when she is tired or cranky, she fusses around in a way that feels like she is fighting against me, and I respond with anger and sometimes harshness. Fortunately I have grown a lot in self-control and in not getting so easily angered by those situations, but in some ways it makes me dread her getting older and more able to express her rebellion. How will I react when it is not just little baby fussing that I perceive as rebellion but real, defiant rebellion? I hope that by God's grace I will have more patience by that time and will respond by seeking to shape her heart (whatever that looks like) rather than merely forcing her to submit.

Holly is a trooper. I always knew Holly was amazing and appreciated her, but seeing her taking care of Claire and the house has really revealed just how much God's grace has shaped her into a strong and caring woman. She usually has seemingly endless patience with Claire, and even when she gets frustrated is never harsh. Day in and day out Holly deals with spit up and nasty poopy diapers and the volatility of a rapidly growing and developing baby who never has two days quite the same.

Claire is so cute. Just look at her. Enough said. :)

I'm sure there's more that could be said, and probably much that is more important to say, but at least now I've broken the blog silence and said something.