One year.

One year ago, I unknowingly joined a cult.  I didn’t truthfully know it existed.

Of all people, I always felt like I’d never be one of them.  But it happened.

I joined the “Paternal Order of Parenthood.”

Life will never be the same.

I now notice babies everywhere. I like Facebook pictures of babies that I never would have noticed two years ago.  I no longer get annoyed when babies scream in public.  I hardly even notice it anymore.  People talk to me about babies, that never had spoken to me before.  Old women no longer see me as a hoodlum, because I have my daughter with me.  It’s actually not so bad of a cult, I guess.

I didn’t even know I had it in me.  Still, I wouldn’t trade my first year of fatherhood for anything, as blurry as it has been.  I’ve changed diapers that no doubt were award-winning, with the amount of mass collected out of such a little baby. there were some trophy winners that I had to enshrine forever via photograph, and share with the Mother, who just happened to be working that day. I’ve changed hundreds of these.  I’ve changed hundreds of these at 5 A.M.  when I’d rather be sleeping.  I’ve cried in pain from sleep deprivation and deliriousness.  I’ve slept less than ever, while having to do more than ever. I’ve stepped on blocks.  I’ve lived in what appears to be the aftermath of a tornado hitting Babies R’ Us.  It’s been quite the challenge.  But we survived.  One year down.  This process of parenthood isn’t for the weak. Don’t apply until your bucket list is satisfied.  With the exception of a virus or two, and a couple scratches, she’s still alive!  I wasn’t so sure about myself a time or two this year, but this little girl is healthy and happy.  I still can’t remember the cursed day she woke up as a little girl, and no longer an infant.  I’m so thankful though, that she’ll always be my little girl.

So, I look at my left arm, as I type this with one hand, and see the most beautiful little blessing dreaming of the day she finds my cell phone unguarded.  I smile, as it brings me a deeper understanding of why God always relates to us as our Father.  It truly helps to feel love from this angle.

I’m so thankful that God is in the same position, holding us in His arms, to never let go.  I pray everyday that He holds her closer and closer.

I realize the circle of life.  I realize that the love I give her now will be reciprocated when I’m the one in diapers and she’s cleaning drool off my chin.  So, I hereby promise, that when the time comes, and Elise is changing my Depends, I’ll do everything in my feeble power to do that horrible little twisty-corkscrew-anti-diaper-changing-fit-trick she loves to do so much.  I almost can’t wait.

Yes, I can.  Elise, please stay little.  I love you so much.

Happy birthday beautiful!

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