Six years is a long time.
It’s longer than one allotted term for the President of the United States. It’s roughly the amount of time it takes for winter to officially descend upon Westeros. It’s also a whole lotta time to decide whether or not you’re going to have another child.
Let me offer a bit of background:
At the time of writing this, our daughter is six and a half years old. She just started first (first!) grade and is the absolute love of our lives. For most, if not all, of her life, we thought she’d be our one and only. That changed one fateful January morning when we learned we’d be having another child.
She’s due any moment now, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Throughout the pregnancy, though, we’ve realized that something is totally different from Round 1. Sure, baby girl is measuring bigger than her sister did at various stages throughout the pregnancy. Mom also endured a nearly month-long bed rest situation. But, there’s something else that makes this so different this time around.
Like I said, six years is a long time.
So, what has changed in the last six years for good ole’ Dad?
- I’m six years older.
- I’m in much better shape.
- We’ve (thankfully) moved up a couple of tax brackets.
- I’m a more confident man.
- Also, a bit of an asshole now.
- I’m not scared of being put in charge of a newborn.
- I now have a beard.
Surely, there are more changes — both good and bad ones — but you get the idea. I think all of those changes are crucial towards my feelings, mindfulness and joy for baby’s impending arrival (maybe save for the beard one). In the end, it all boils down to No. 4. Confidence is everything, isn’t it?
So, why am I telling you all this? Great question. Let me explain.
I’m telling you this because I’ve decided to document the changes as they’re seen fast and furiously in a First Time Father Project column titled “6 (and 1/2) Years of Separation.”
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to experience fatherhood nearly seven years after doing it the first time — all while now, suddenly becoming a father to two. Understanding how much can change personally in six and a half years — not to mention how much has changed with our world — I consider this an amazing opportunity to chronicle what it’s like to father now, balanced against what it was like to father then. All the while, I’ll be experiencing amazingly different realities as Dad to daughters who are six and a half years apart in age.
Perhaps not coincidentally, my new reality is exactly what the First Time Father Project is meant to encapsulate, examine and support. Whether you’re the father to 10 or one, we are all experiencing each moment for the very first time. We are all, always, first time fathers. I’ll be proving that again, day in and day out.
It’ll certainly be an experiment. And I’ll be offering you the results on a semi-regular basis (I’d commit to “regular” but you know how busy this Dad thing can be).
So, what can you expect? Another great question.
I’ll be updating you via a column here on First Time Father Project. I’ll also be podcasting for those of you who like soothing tones, lots of ‘umms’ and a severe lack of ‘Rs.’
Author Jim Rohn once said, “Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” Well, I’ll be putting that theory to the test and I invite you to come along for the ride.