Baby on Board: This Changes Everything

Baby on Board
Sorry for the B&W treatment, Teddy, but at this advanced age, Daddy needs a filter.

What did I do on my summer vacation? I had a baby! Well, my wife did, actually.

It’s been a little over two weeks and I still can’t quite believe it. As a Facebook friend said:

I am still amazed that they handed me the baby, just like that. No special degree or anything.

I’m a little sleep-deprived (though less than I thought — so far, Teddy is an exceedingly unfussy baby *knock wood*) and sensory overwhelmed, so putting this all into words at the moment (and even finding the energy to put together this post) is difficult.

What I Know and What I’ve Learned (So Far)

But here are my initial thoughts on this venture:

  • Throughout this whole process I’m reminding myself that we did not invent baby-having and adjusting my pronouncements accordingly.
  • I’ve always been really annoyed by the sound of a baby crying, but his cries I don’t mind so much.
  • Up until two weeks ago I had made it through life without once changing a diaper. That, too, isn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. (Though I know I haven’t seen anything yet.)
  • As I take a few weeks off to focus on him, I’m startled at how few Fs I have to give about things like content marketing, social media, search engine optimization and all the rest of the clutter that clamors for my daily attention. A top priority when I come back for good will be to unsubscribe and unfollow a lot of stuff that doesn’t enrich either my business or my life.
  • The little guy doesn’t do much other than sleep, eat and process what’s he eaten, but once in a while he goes into that “quiet alert” state and it’s like he’s looking right through me. And I can’t help but think I want him to see the best me I have to offer.
  • One of the reasons I came around to the idea of having a baby at this late stage of life was that it was a chance to devote myself to someone other than myself, which will probably be healthy (for me, at least). And these first couple of weeks are pretty much all about that, since there’s little he can do on his own anyway.
  • There are few things better than a swaddled baby sleeping on your chest.
  • The closest I’ve come to reckoning with the meaning of all this is that it feels like I’ve been reborn through him. I’m looking forward to seeing the world anew through his eyes. (And if he’s a Curious George type, as I was, I may come to regret that!)
  • If you want to spend your life with someone who confronts difficulty with strength and composure, marry an Alaskan.

This week I started dipping my toes back into the world of work. Right now I find I only have a couple of hours a day of sustained focus anyway.

Then in August I hit the road to do some workshops 3,000 miles away. We’ll see how that feels.