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What’s in your wallet?

Jackie takes the best pictures of babies.  When our niece, Harper, was born she went out and bought one of those expensive Canon cameras with the adjustable lenses, interchangeable flashes, and all the other bells and whistles.  It’s a beautiful piece of electronics that has made her good quality of picture-taking to great. 

Being a grad student has slowed down her ability to take her picture-taking to the next level, but we’ve seen a revival of that passion of hers since Griffin was born.  She takes the best pictures, creates these awesome slide shows and collages intertwining all the things from our courtship, our engagement, our wedding, and beyond.  She keeps her masterpieces on her computer for the most part though, never really satisfied with the way the end product looks.  Something about the generic photograph paper at all the big box stores, just another thing I don’t get.

What I learned today about being a father:

I miss my guy.  Today especially for some reason.  I am fortunate enough to have a bright picture on my desktop of him, though, and I keep a special one that mama took in my wallet.  There is nothing significant about today, neither good or bad.  Today feels like just a day, and maybe that’s why I was thinking about doing something other than my work, like taking the time to read some new blogs, maybe skip out on work and go see  a movie (I love movies, and I’ve heard great things about The Avengers), but looking at my boy’s picture not only stopped me from being foolish, but has given me a reason to do better.

What I think I know:

We all come across these times in our lives, whether it’s a rough day at work or a bad argument with a loved one that makes us want to do something that isn’t typical, something maybe dangerous or completely out of character.  I’ve never thought these things were bad, just some situations call for us to be unconventional and spontaneous and I think we all know when this is and when it’s not. 

Today, when my mind was wandering, wishing I was doing something else and contemplating jumping ship from work, it was the picture of Griffin that stopped me.  I realized that what I’m doing, I’m doing for him and my family, trying to create a good future for us so that he can have a life that he deserves.  He stopped me in my tracks, made me re-think my priorities, and helped me be a good daddy and do the right thing. 

So, if you happened to waiver, watch pictures of your children, because even now they’re talking back to you.  The hard things that come with being daddy feel a lot easier and make a lot more sense when you know why you’re doing them.


As baby settles in to his new routine we have clamored over who gets what picture taken with him and when.  In our small two bedroom we have cameras and computers and other picture-taking electronics strewn throughout across our space, waiting with our breaths held to catch baby’s first full-fledged smile, a new pose we have yet to see, or for that time when both eyes are opened wide and attentive.

What I learned today about being a father:

It’s been a struggle to keep track of which pictures are on which camera or if these or those pictures have been posted to Facebook or sent to Shutterfly or not.  Mama and I keep telling each other to get the camera, or saying things like, “we need to get a video of this.”  What I’ve learned over the course of our first week is that the harder we try catching the moment the more moments that we’ve missed.  Last night mama and I put the cameras away, stored the video recorder back in its attache, and have just been more conscious of keeping our iPhones closer than before.  But we don’t worry anymore about a look or a smile, or a new pose that baby hasn’t done before because we are now both being more attentive seeing it for ourselves.

What I think I know:

I’ve been a father for one week, and it’s been the happiest most difficult and shortest week of my life.  I never gave the concept of “they grow up so fast” much thought, but last night mama and I talked about how much new hair has come in on baby and how much his face has filled out in such short time.  I always knew that baby would grow up, because that’s what babies do and if we didn’t I wouldn’t be as I am, but man, they grow up so fast.

I thought we’d have a chance to enjoy each and every one of his little moments for eternity, but I think I realized that we only have a small amount of time to relish them, and that if I don’t get to see them first hand, not behind a camera or a lens, that those moments really won’t stick with me the way I want them too.  I can close my eyes and see baby better each and every day over the past week than I can trying to find the pictures in a file on my computer.  Being daddy isn’t simple, but knowing that it’s better to see than to realize that he is growing up so fast might just make it easier on the both of us.