Monday, March 2, 2009

On being 'Daddy'

Yep, that's my little one Bronwyn, as you can see from the picture she has no fear of the camera.

I still think the main reason for this blog is for her. Whether someday she ever comes across it or not, is irrelevant. Just having an avenue to try and organize my thoughts and express my views helps my own mental health, which allows me to be better equipped to help raise her.

We are 3 years in now to being 'daddy'. It's a special word/title and I'm amazed how differently it can sound depending on her mood, or when she's scheming to get what she wants. At a store or out shopping, I probably hear that word 10-100 times in a day by other children and their parents, but I don't even notice, until it's said by Bronwyn, it's much like her cry or laugh, it's amazing to me the way her sound resonates with me.

I'm lucky in that I do get to spend a lot of time with her, when I think about working from home, I think about long commutes and all the stress working away from home can cause. So when the end of my day comes and I can just leave the upstairs office and start playing with her, I know I'm lucky. I remember my father and mother leaving before sunrise and coming home after sunset. Exhausted from work, traffic, and everything else. They did a wonderful job but I know they would have enjoyed spending more time with my brother and I. So an hour or two a workday, means about 250 hours a year, 10 full days, and I've got three years of them. Not to mention when your having a really rough day, you can run down at lunch or in between calls and grab a hug.

Of course like any busy parent, I constantly worry whether I'm doing enough for her, am I giving her enough attention, trying to teach her enough, letting her watch too much TV, helping her eat right, etc. etc. I suppose it's natural you want to provide your best to the little one, but there motor has a lot more gas in it, then mine does at 35. It helps greatly that Laurie is such a wonderful mother for her. Bronwyn couldn't have wound up with a better mother.

I love watching her learn, I see her paying attention so deeply at times and she reflects so much of her mother and I in her moods, personalities, thoughts, and sense of humor. They truly are like a sponge at this age.

Around her mother, she's an outgoing Diva; chatter boxing away to anyone and everyone in a store, a starlet loving the center of attention. When I take her out though, she reflects cautious reserve, quiet and thoughtful in her responses. Her demeanor is truly fascinating, as while I'm reserved, I do encourage her to engage with people when she's spoken too, but she turns a bit shy when she's out with Daddy. I know she can be engaging though, so her actions are calculated in my opinion. I don't know whether it's from a cue she's picked up from me or it's based on how she wants me to appear before me. Even at three, it's funny how those things work.

Laurie is always telling me how people (mostly women) are just constantly complimenting her on Bronwyn, commenting out of the blue on how sweet, pretty, and adorable she is and how they just talk with her for these long conversations, complimenting and remarking. She asks me if they do the same for me, and while I've had a cashier or two say something complimentary, they certainly seem like normal, everyday compliments, that people give to other's with children.

I know women approach other women with children much easier then they do a man with a child. Plus my wife truly loves how much attention her daughter gets and isn't afraid to put her out there for the world to see. I know my wife takes great pride into how Bronwyn is developing and rightfully so, it's no surprise to me that Bronwyn gets so many compliments when they are out, as Laurie has worked so hard with her on so many things.

I could go on and on about Bronwyn and will over time. At the very least, I've got a post planned for some of the background on how we chose her name and the nickname I gave her, which seemed to stick "Boof". I also know there are ton of concerns and thoughts on how well I'm doing over the coming years, to literally write a book.

So while I don't get the same level of compliments that Laurie might receive, I did have a very proud moment last Saturday at Wal-mart, Bronwyn was with me riding along in the cart, and an older woman came up and said "Excuse me sir, sorry to interrupt you, I just wanted to tell you that you have the most beautiful daughter." I thanked her and got back to spending time with Bronwyn. This is not going to help my daughter's modesty some day, oh the teenage years are going to be so much fun.

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