I’m Back and Ready to Ramble About Fatherhood and Society

Lucille Louise is ten weeks old now.

In some ways it’s been a long ten weeks and in others I feel like the time got ripped out from under me. But I have an intuition that I’m in for a lot of that feeling as a parent…

For my regular readers, you’ll know this is my first post since December, before my superhuman wife muscled a human being into the world. She’s finally recovered, so I figure I should get back to my regular schedule, too. Which probably also means working out again… I’ll start with Ring Fit Adventure on the Switch for now. Anyway, I haven’t really planned anything to write so I’m going to ramble for a page or two right now, but I am working on long-term goals for the year. More on that in my next post.

I’m a father, and I turned 24 this month. A lot of people in my life told me I was too young to get married, or expressed concern about Victoria and I starting a family too young. But, from the bottom of my heart, I’m so happy we did. Nothing has ever brought me so much fulfillment as being a husband or simply holding our baby girl in my arms. She’s able to move her head around pretty freely now, and to know that she could look away and is still choosing to return my infatuated gaze is just…too much to express in words.

Honestly, the biggest thing 2020 has me thinking about so far—besides washing my hands four times as often to avoid the corona virus and the fact that a small human life is dependent on Victoria and I—is how extremely short life is. I know, I know. A person in their early to mid twenties talking about the brevity of life is ridiculous. (I say early to mid twenties because I’m desperately clinging on to whatever “early” twenties means.) But in the past few weeks Lucy has grown so fast it’s given me whiplash. Humans grow and change so quickly, and not just infants!

Let me expand on that a bit.

I was holding Lucy last month when I read that Kathrine Johnson had died at 101 years old. For those who may not know the name right away, Johnson was one of the protagonists in the 2016 biopic Hidden Figures. She worked at NASA in the mid-1900’s, one of the first black women to be welcomed into the organization, and she was partly responsible for getting an American into space for the first time. Let’s just consider this for a moment: Johnson lived long enough to put a man in space and also watch with the world as the Opportunity rover sent its last transmission from Mars. She lived long enough to see segregation finally get outlawed in the 50’s, and to see the first black president get elected to the White House. Kathrine Johnson lived long enough to have to walk a mile just to pee in the “colored restroom,” and to see a movie about her life, starring three black women, make $236,000,000 at the box office.

I’m reflective because, you guys, Johnson got hired at NASA only 67 years ago. What is Lucy’s world going to be like in 2087? I’ll probably be dead, or maybe alive because my consciousness has been transferred into a synthetic body, I guess. Will we finally have achieved social equality, or eliminated poverty? Will my daughter be guaranteed to make the same wages as her male cohorts in whatever career path she chooses to walk? Will she have a female president to look up to, to learn about? If she does, then I hope I’m able to tell her I voted for that president.

Things move fast around here… I guess my parting message is this: Savor every moment. Savor every breath you take, every smile on your lover’s face, every giggle from your children. Chase that feeling you get when you give someone else flowers, when you reach the end of the hike and look out at the natural world God gave us. Savor the world that surrounds us, the cradle of humanity, and help preserve its health so that we’re still around to cultivate new societies elsewhere in the galaxy, the universe. Read a good book, and have a sip of coffee—or tea, or whatever your poison is.

Things move fast, but not too fast that we can’t, as they say, stop and smell the flowers. Now, I’m going to go hold my baby and smile lovingly at my wife. I’ll write again soon, real soon.


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