Every morning when my 10 month old baby wakes up she gets the same expression of wonder and joy on her face. She’s so happy that she can crawl and play and inspect and make noise, and that is enough to make me just as happy. You see, not many people can say they wake up feeling happy every day. Certainly before my little girl arrived, I would often wake up and worry about bills, or work, or money, or any number of other things. This would set me up in a negative head space for the entire day. After watching her wake up so happy time and time again, I finally realised that she has taught me that it is possible to wake up and just be happy for the sake of it.
It got me thinking about the ways I, as a father, have changed over the past 10 months. I came to the conclusion that she has taught me more than I thought:
To Be More Carefree
Babies have no fears and no cares. They are carefree and will bound into any situation without trepidation. My daughter, in this way, has taught me to let go of some of my cares, doubts and regrets.
This is probably the most obvious thing. For a generally impatient person such as myself, being taught this virtue by my daughter is something I am very grateful for. These days I find myself being willing and even content to wait for certain things in everyday life. I am quicker to forgive and forget than I ever was in the past.
Seeing Everyone As Special
When my daughter is surrounded by people, either at family gatherings or while out doing the shopping, she will look at everyone in awe, particularly those who talk to her. It’s a beautiful sight to see, and she’s taught me to treat everyone who I meet with more interest.
I was always a little bit skeptical when parents told me playing with their baby was one of their favourite things to do. I used to think it seemed like more of a chore, something to keep them happy and nothing more. I was so wrong. Playing with my daughter is one of the highlights of my day. Seeing her laugh, watching her peak around corners and doing pretty much anything that takes her fancy is fun (apart from pushing our TV off the stand – that wasn’t as much fun!). Playing games was never really a factor in the early weeks and months, but as the months have gone by she’s gotten more and more playful and I can honestly say to any future fathers – it’s an awesome thing to do.