My Small Girl And Me: Two Years Later

Two years ago today, my Small Girl was born.

I always wanted a family, in part because my family was a happy one, and my parents were always quick to tell my sister and I how much they loved us and how happy we made them. So I was raised thinking families were important, and my wife wanted children too, so when the time was right we started trying. It didn’t take long.

The Small Girl, who is also known as the Wiggler, the Monkey-Toed One, Madzilla, Peanut, and the Countess von Wigglestein, was a healthy 8 pounds, 13 ounces. The thing is, though, that you don’t just not have a baby one day and then have one the next; the pregnancy is a long, long nine months (and I had the easier part.) So for nine months, your child is both reality and abstraction; it’s a physical reality in the sense that my wife was changing, but still not a new person in your home.

All new parents are nervous to one extent or another, but I think I was less nervous than most. For one thing, it’s just in my nature to accept things, and for another I’d had experience with babies and small children before, and so had my wife, so the logistics of the thing weren’t mysterious to us. Still you’re nervous about the awesome scope of the responsibility placed upon you.

But when we took the Small One home (we left half a day early; we just did not want to lay around the hospital any longer) and I went to get something for my wife and walked into the living room to see her there with my daughter asleep on her shoulder, I knew all was as it should be.

Nothing about the Small One is unique or unusual; she’s big for her age and smart, but there are lots of little girls just like her. And yet, she is like no other creature that has ever existed. I already knew all the basic developmental stages babies go through, but every step forward was an amazing revelation.

I know all proud parents talk about their kids with the same words, and I am not sure I’m eloquent enough to write anything you haven’t already read. It’s just not possible, at least not for me, to explain what having her did to me. Everyone says it “Changes” you, that your perspective on the world changes, and I suppose that’s sort of true, but it’s not how I feel. I’m still, in many respects, the same jerk I always was. But it… it expands you. It adds to you, makes you more than you were before. Before my world contained X, but now it contains far more than X.

Before the Small Girl, I was a happy guy; I had a good life, and I’ve been generally pretty lucky and I’m at least smart enough to know I’m lucky. But the Small One makes me so much happier than I ever was before that I just can’t explain it to you. When I go by her daycare to pick her up and she shrieks “Daddy!” and comes running as fast as her shaky little legs can take her, the feeling of elation and joy is physical, almost visceral; I can feel my chest swelling with pride and love. It’s the sort of love that really brings personal, powerful, tangible meaning to the word, the sort of love that makes you say “Ahhh, now I understand. Now I get it.”

I got into an MSN conversation with an old Army buddy the other day; he’s single, no kids. He asked me how fatherhood wsa going and I told him it was the greatest thing in the history of the world, and a huge amount of fun. He replied “Well, not as fun as sex.” I told him, well, no, it’s a LOT more fun, not that I don’t want lots more sex, but my kid beats anything else ever. I don’t think he believed me… but I don’t blame him, because before I had the Small One, I couldn’t have believed it either. How could you when I can’t even adequately verbalize it?

My Small Girl loves the Wiggles, and tries to sing along and do the dances. The other day she was doing the “Rock-A-Bye-Your-Bear” dance and I was up doing it with her. Mrs. RickJay clapped and laughed along. I honestly don’t think I have ever enjoyed anything more in my entire life, and if there’s a God and I go to heaven, I hope I can relive that moment as part of my eternal reward, because it was that wonderful. I simply could not be happier.

She’s two years old today. How did that go so fast? It was just a few days ago she was born, wasn’t it? I remember when she was so small I could almost cup her in my hands. I remember how when she was three months old, she loves to smile at our faux-antique clock that hangs in the living room. I remember when she started crawling. I remember her first word. I remember when she learned to walk. It was all just yesterday, wasn’t it?

Two whole years, the best of my life and they went so fast. God, please, I so want to have the patience to enjoy the years to come. I hope I’m a good father. I hope she grows up strong and happy. I hope for more moments like that one where I was dancing with her.

Some people think they owe their parents. Oh, no, no, that’s just not true, not with me, anyway. I owe the Small Girl. You wouldn’t think a toddler could give you this much, but they do.

Happy Birthday, princess.

'Scuze me, something in my eye there. I’m fine, now, really. Happy Birthday to your girl.

Beautifully put.

I will never forget the evening — almost 21 years ago, now — when the nurse put my daughter in my arms while she put my (now ex-) wife into bed. I scrunched into a semi-reclining position, whereupon this incredible, miraculous new life curled up into a ball (so tiny!), heaved a great big sigh, and went to sleep.

I sank at once, and haven’t come up. Nothing in the intervening years have made me doubt for a moment that it was worthwhile. And while I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, part of me envies you for what you have to look forward to.

One last thought: the Small Girl is lucky to have a father like you. Blessings on you [DEL]both[/DEL] all.

ETA: Savannah, there must be a dust cloud over much of the PNW — I have something in my eye as well.

Hey Rick,

Well put fellow Ontarian.

My daughter is now almost 10. Enjoy it while you can, because as cliched as it sounds, “they grow up fast.” Your thoughts really echoed mine, and still do.

Being a father is the most important thing in the world to me at the moment. Life’s too short and you only get one chance to raise a good kid. Spend time with her: go for walks, read stories, tickle, laugh, be silly, point out the purpose and importance of nature, and most of all… buy her a Leafs shirt.

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

My fifth child - and second daughter - is a Daddy’s Girl of the highest order. She used to sit next to me while I worked (I work from home) on my laptop with a toy laptop of her own. Now she’s three and I send her to pre-school. Usually my wife picks her up from school with the car, but on those occasions when my wife needs to be out (today, for example, she was at Costco), I’ll walk to her school to pick her up and we’ll walk home together. She sees me coming toward her school, her fac lights up and she announces triumphantly to everyone, “I TOLD you my Daddy would come!” and then she bounces down the steps, gives me a big hug and tells me, “I’m happy you’re here, Daddy.”

I hug her back and tell her, “I’m happy to be here, princess,” and we walk home, admiring the flowers in gardens we pass by and noticing pine cones on the ground and laughing about when she was little (!) and was actually afraid of pine cones.

Being a father is wonderful, but there’s nothing more enjoyable than being “Daddy!” (with the exclamation mark at the end)

Raising children is like riding a roller coaster – thrilling, terrifying, loads of fun and over with way too soon. Enjoy her while she belongs to you – she’ll belong to the world all too soon.

This is so true. I remember my son running to me and hugging me when I’d pick him up at daycare - - I remember those huge smiles - I remember him climbing into bed with me in the mornings before school just to hug - I remember him sitting with me and watching TV and us discussing the finer points of Transformers versus Gobots - I remember us cooking together (I used to give him cooking lessons) - I remember how he wouldn’t go to school wtihout an I Love You - I remember us doing so many things…

Now he comes home, he goes upstairs, he has his job, his friends - he doesn’t tell me I love you much at all anymore even though I know he does - sometimes parenting can be sad. This is my last few months with him - he’ll belong to the Navy soon.

RickJay, that was truly wonderful. Blessings on your entire family. And I can tell you from a daughter’s point of view - there’s nothing and no one quite so wonderful as “Daddy”. :slight_smile:

Congrats on having such a happy family, RickJay. Small Girl’s got a great daddy.

I hope it’s my turn soon to do the family thing. But don’t tell my boyfriend I said that. :slight_smile:

Me too with my niece. I’ve got a photo of her at 5 days old sleeping in the crook of my arm. No matter the howl of the wind and rain outside, when you’ve got a baby sleeping peacefully in your arms, all feels well with the world.

[Proud Uncle]Did I mention that she’s on the point of walking?[/PU]

Being a daddy is great, especially when your little girl is so tiny, I’m going miss that when she grows up.

Very, very well-said RickJay. As always, I’m a month behind you. The Littlest Briston turns two next month, and you’ve got it spot on – it’s sheer joy.

Yesterday my wife and daughter came home a little later than usual – I didn’t realize they were home when I came downstairs. They were just walking in the door when I got to the bottom of the stairs you see in the above pic. Now, Shayla knows she’s not supposed to go on the stairs by herself, but she loves to sneakily go onto the bottom step and just sit there. So while she was busy making sure mommy wasn’t looking, I sat on that step. She carefully backed onto the stair and tried to sit down. When she realized someone was there, she had quite a start – she jumped up and gasped, then realized who it was…


…she yelled, flinging her arms around me. You’re absolutely right – nothing better, not by a longshot.

No, really, RickJay, it’s okay, I wasn’t using my ovaries anyways…

blows a smooch to Small Girl

Somebody smart here on the boards described having kids as being somebody’s favorite rock star…who else is so excited to see you at the end of the day?

It goes by fast…believe me. Treasure them.

Nobody here believes that - not after hearing her Daddy talk. :smiley:

Enjoy it while it lasts. Because it doesn’t.

My small one turned sixteen Sunday.


That emotion, the genetic shift you feel when you first hold your baby has got to be the most powerful thing I’ve ever felt. It’s like floating in a big DEEP slow moving river, you can’t help but just be moved along.

My twins turn 5 in December.

(and I have a sleeping 12 week old kitten sitting over my shoulder)

younguns are fun