A week ago, my wife and I saw the official beginning of a new project. Here's a photo from the ride home:
This past week has been a rapid tour through a set of ideas both familiar and foreign. We've gotten advice in many different forms and from varied groups of people, and we are grateful for the assistance. The one vague bit of advice that has made the most sense through it all: be flexible and appreciate each moment for what it is. I am frightened with the speed with which the minutes drift away while my daughter sleeps in my arms.
I've also gotten an appreciation for my own learning process. I read a lot in the months leading up to the birth. I listened to lots of stories from those who had been through this before, including my own parents. None of it truly made sense to me until I was actually experiencing things myself. I changed diapers and used way too many wipes. I watched the nurses give our daughter a bath. I've needed experienced people to tell me how to make a swaddle that lasts longer than thirty seconds - my own learning has often taken a backseat to restoring my daughter's comfort. Others have told me what worked for their infants, and I take that advice as it applies, but given that every child is different, I understand there is no cure-all in this process. If nothing else, walking around in the middle of the night swaying her back and forth is a really comfortable way to be present and enjoy the moment.
I'm grateful to all of you who have wished us well and shared your recommendations and experience. My wife inspires me with the patience she has shown with our daughter (and with me) as we figure out how the pieces fit together. Spending this winter break with the new 'us' at home is truly a gift.
Happy holidays everyone!