Monday, June 9, 2014

Parenthood: Week 54 – One Year Later

Ollie’s a year old.

We had a party.
Ollie attempted to eat some cake.

It was cute but it wasn’t a major milestone event for me as a parent. Nothing happened on that day that changed our relationship. My perspective on being a father didn’t change on that one day and Ollie didn’t start walking the minute after we sang “Happy Birthday.”

Yes, it’s a big deal that Ollie has made it to a year old. There’s been a lot of challenges for him and he’s had to persevere. Being an infant isn’t easy.  Milestones like learning how to take a bottle, crawl or roll over are full of joy but they are also times of struggle. Ollie is a happy baby and he takes on challenges in life with a positive attitude. However he’s had to work and he accepts this and because of this, he’s grown in a lot of different ways.

It’s also a big deal that my partnership with Diana has made it through the past year. More than “made it through,” our partnership has flourished. It’s commonly said that the first year of your first child is your hardest year of your marriage. All of the ways that you work together as a team are put to the test when there’s a baby involved. It’s not that big a deal to keep score on whose turn it is to do the dishes. When it comes to taking care of a baby that scoreboard needs to completely disappear. And that selflessness and that whole, not caring who’s right must happen.

This last year has probably been the most difficult year of my life, but I would not say that it was the most difficult year of my marriage. We have had a blessed life and there’s not another year of our marriage that was marred with any major tragedies, so it’s not that there was clearly a harder year in the past.

Each year of our marriage, we’ve faced challenges and we’ve learned how to deal with them, support each other and persevere. So much of these situations, moving, living in an apartment and then a condo, going on vacations, traveling to Taiwan for my grandmother’s funeral, changing careers, and raising Buffy all prepared us for this past year with Ollie

I experienced the most powerful and extreme emotions of my life this past year from incredible feelings of joy and love to petrifying frustration and horrifying fear. Yes, my heart expanded and I found more capacity to love and care for Ollie than I ever thought possible, but my mind is still catching up to be able to handle all of the stress and the never-ending to do list that comes along with being a parent.

Through all of this, I've never needed to worry that Diana and I wouldn’t make it through whatever we faced. She always had my back, and I always tried to support her in everything we did for Ollie.

We will never be able to express fully our gratitude, to our friends, family and the nannies that helped us through this last year. I am so proud of Ollie. He’s one of my favorite people in this world and all I want to do every day is spend time with him, more than anything else.

I didn't just want to have a kid, I wanted to have a child with Diana.  Sharing this past year with Diana has brought meaning to every moment of being a parent.

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