They all tell you. You nod in agreement and say ‘I know’, but it’s not until your child is actually born that you truly do understand. I was the same way, but now I get it. When someone says that kids grow up before you know it, they’re right. I feel both like Isla was just born yesterday, and simultaneously I feel like she has always been a part of the family.
I’ve tried multiple times to write this blog post but I have struggled to sum up a year so incredible. Robyn and I have both been home for this past year and we’ve shared in the good times and the trying times. We have been frustrated with the sleepless nights, and have had our hearts melt with the smiles and laughs, I’m pretty sure she melts my heart so often that it’s liquid now. I think Isla is a pretty happy girl and as a biased father I believe she’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. I love her toothless smiles, when she reaches her arms out for a hug, her open mouth kisses, and the way she’s become more cuddly in the past couple months. Just coming into the room to see her standing there looking back means the world to me, and brightens my day immediately.
We’ve been there every step of the way, and I love that I’m self employed and got to be home almost every day of the past year. I got to read stories to her each day, I was there for her first steps on March 16th, before she crawled I might add. I was there for her first word, Dada, which is the sweetest thing to hear, especially when she whispers it. I’ve been able to be there for, and document, every milestone. I’ve taken at least a photo a day for the first year of Isla’s life with few exceptions. I don’t know if I’ll continue the trend after her birthday, but I know whatever I do, I’ll make sure she has photos of her childhood which she can cherish when she gets older, and more importantly, I know I will be there with and for her.
I love this little girl more than I ever thought I could love someone. When Robyn heads back to work soon, I’ll be the one staying at home to take care of Isla and it’s something I’m both looking forward to, and nervous about, especially because that will coincide with the busiest part of my wedding season, but I know that a few months of long hours will result in a few months of Daddy/Daughter time with few work interruptions.
Everyone tells you how a child will change you, how you will never experience such love, and they’re absolutely right. I love Isla more than anyone or anything else on earth combined. But what people don’t tell you is how entirely vulnerable you will be, how every teardrop hurts you, how her pain is yours, how you know she needs to learn her own lessons while every fibre in your body wants to protect her from everything. I am already uneasy about sending her to daycare for just one day a week, I know I will worry when she’s off at school in a few short years, and it will never stop, I will always worry about her until the day I die. No-one tells you that, but then again, if they did, would it make a difference? Of course it wouldn’t. I often paraphrase a line from ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas’ and say ‘… my heart grew 3 sizes that day’ because of the love I feel. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. She’s my little girl and she always will be, but for now I’ll enjoy the time she actually is little, I’ve heard that kids grow up before you know it.
Here’s a look at Isla’s first year.