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Friday, July 18, 2008

Special time for Daughter & Daddy (aka turn on the waterworks)

Ever since my daughter was 4 months old, I have spent my Wednesday mornings out of my office and with her for the morning while my wife (who runs a psychotherapy practice from our house) saw clients. For a dad who loves his work, but hates leaving my kids every morning, these Wednesday mornings became the highlight of my week. Whether it was the Zoo, Science Center, The Museum, a farm tucked away in the city, or even walking around Costco on a rainy spring morning, this bonding time was critical for both me and my daughter as it filled the needs we each have in our wonderful daddy-daughter relationship.

Last week was her first day at camp (pre-school), and my first Wednesday without a trip to what would have undoubtedly been the zoo or farm
My emotions were mixed.
I was filled with intense pride over how amazing she was starting pre-school, and how well my wife and I had done in parenting and preparing her for this life-transition. Not to mention, I had some time to myself again! I hadn't had that on Wednesdays since she before she was born.

But I felt like I'd lost something special. Granted I go to work each day, and spend most of my time during the week away from my family, but this hurt extra.
I'd listened to my wife reflect on how difficult is was for her having Abby out of the house 3 mornings a week, with someone else caring for them. Now, it felt real to me too.

While I feel sadness over the loss of time with my daughter and reflection at how big she gets and the speed with which she grows up, an amazing new opportunity is going to present itself.
My son is turning 5 months old, and is starting to reach the age when I began my special time with my daughter. He too gets to experience these placing & things for the first time, and I get to watch the excitement that is created when looking at the world with a child's eyes.

Any parent expecting a second one wonders how they could give so much love to a second child. But as they grow and develop their own unique personality & distinctness, Dad's are blessed with the opportunity to build a special life-long and life-determining relationship with their children.

This is why I love being a dad.