Getting angry at your child for doing something you did at the same age.
Reading this book to your daughter and having her say, "She had a really hard life. It was awesome how she didn't let that stop her. Girls are the flyest."
Busting your ass to meet a deadline, but tossing it aside when your daughter asks you to play 'Lava Twins'.
Taking full advantage of your daughter's school's parents night out and hitting up that grown folks food spot without her. Only so much macaroni and cheese a man can take.
Letting my daughter eat off my plate, without permission, and not minding a bit. Others would lose a digit. Or two.
My daughter in her chonies, blocking the bathroom holding a stick and yelling, 'You shall not pass!" on some Gandalf shit.
Eating at a restaurant and leaving with all the napkins. Just in case.
Loving your daughter's empathy and compassion while also being deathly afraid that the world will break her spirit.
An exercise in sustained letting go. For every milestone your child reaches, that is one area where you are no longer needed. I don't want my daughter to be a kid forever, but damn. She's 9 in a couple of weeks, and has mastered so many things. Her autonomy is at stratospheric levels.
Forgiving yourself for making mistakes.
Being caught between praising and issuing a consequence because your daughter punched and elbowed an older boy for teasing her about her hair.
Making sure there is no one in the women's bathroom so you feel safe enough for your eight-year-old daughter to use it because she refuses to use the men's room with you.
- Checking every nook and cranny for monsters, at bedtime. And then checking again, just to make sure.
- Putting together a unicorn spotting kit and then going into the backyard for an hour, waiting for a unicorn to pass by your fig tree.
- Wondering how you're going to be a good dad, when your dad was horrible. Hard to be it when you can't see it.
- Doing a lot of internal work because your child is depending on you to be and do your best.
- (Trying to) not take it personally when your child favors their mother.
- Knowing that there will be a cuddle parent and a play parent. More than likely, you'll be the play parent for a very long time. But eventually understanding that these roles are fluid.
- Reaching out to the single fathers you know and including them in group events.
- Not falling asleep until your child does.
- Knowing that you will disappoint and hurt your child, but also knowing that you can repair the relationship.
- Answering their toy phone and having an in depth conversation with the rabbit who wants to sell you a meteor and a shovel.
- Going into your child's room at night and counting their fingers and toes. Every night. For their first 6th months.
- Imagining the kind of person your child will be in their 20s, 30s, 40s--and hoping that you'll live that long to see if you're correct.
- Crying while you draft your will.
- Making sure your child has it much better than you did.
- Getting back into shape because you have to keep up with your child.
- Playing Sketches of Spain for your 2 month old.
- Balancing parenthood and partnership. Yeah. Like this is easy.
- The best thing in the whole damn world.