Ten Days of Fatherhood

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Just a short break between episodes of Gladiators in SPACE!

I have officially been a father for ten days. So much and so little has happened since she was born. In an attempt to avoid rambling too much I’ll separate this into parts.

keladry-ghostwriter

Birth

A theme this past ten days has been, “I thought I understood what was going to happen, but I didn’t.”

The birth and labour was much longer than I expected and very different. I won’t go into details but despite all our preparation we had no clue.

When I saw the little wriggling baby for the first time I didn’t experience what a lot of people had described. I didn’t instantly fall in love, I didn’t just know, etc. I just saw an adorable baby that vaguely looked like her mother. I instinctively wanted to protect her, but I get that with all babies. There was nothing spiritual or magical.

All the love and the urge to make everything better for her came slowly over time. It started when we first learned she existed and continued to grow. It’s still growing now.

I think even if she weren’t my child, I’d find her adorable. She makes these little snuffling noises, squeaks, and mini-roars that sound just like what I’d imagine a little Dragon would sound like.

Imposter Syndrome

In case you don’t know what Impostor Syndrome is, it’s “an inability to internalize […] accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

It’s most common in artistic people from what I’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how long it’ll take people to realize that it was mistake to publish me. By the way, check out A Study in Aether and leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Ahem…

I’ve found the same sort of feeling with Keladry. One moment I’ll be changing her diapers and the next I’ll wonder when her real parents are coming to take her home. It’s like my brain is unable to fully comprehend that we’ve created a human and are now responsible for her. It’s terrifying.

There’s a disconnect between understanding the principles of making and having children and truly internalizing the information.

I’m told that the Parental Impostor Syndrome goes away eventually. Hopefully the other one will as well, but it’ll probably take longer.

Sleep and Doing stuff

Everyone warned me that once the baby would be around, there would be no time for sleep or anything else. So far we’ve been lucky; she’s sleeping 2-4 hours in a row between feedings. I can’t imagine doing this and going to my full time job, but I’ve been able to do a few little things here and there on projects.

The first few days I felt utterly lost and a little panicked but we’ve been introducing elements of routine into our days and that’s making me feel better.

As she grows older, we’ll try to instill a nice routine into her life as well and we can hope that will prevent us all from going crazier than we already are.

Friends and Family

I’m a shameless optimist when it comes to the human race and the innate goodness in each of us. That being said, I’m extremely insecure and have as a default assumption that everyone dislikes me. (It’s unfounded and silly but my brain is a jerk.)

Our friends and family have been absolutely amazing. Any and all support we need is there and we greatly appreciate it. You are all amazing!

Godparents

We thought long and hard about who and what we wanted for our little Dragon’s Godparents.

We narrowed down the criteria to someone who:

  • was spiritual or had a good academic knowledge of world religions;
  • could teach her things she won’t learn in school;
  • was a good person and role model;
  • who would take the job seriously; and
  • who could be friend and confidant that wouldn’t have an issue telling us if we were being unfair.

In the end we chose her Aunt Lindsay, who’s one of the most good and genuine people I know, and S.M. Carrière, who’s a wonderful person with a lot to share with Dragon. I know both will be there for her and make sure she grows up to be an awesome person.

Read S.M. Carrière’s post about it that made both Jen and I cry.

 

There’s a lot more I could write but I’ll stop there.

Later Days,

Éric

LJ 23-03-2005 “My trip to Toronto.”

Previously Posted at my Livejournal.

My trip to Toronto.

Part 1

Here I am. This whole situation seems unreal. I need to write and I’m not sure why. I guess I’m scared. I’m leaving Ottawa and, metaphorically, everything it represents: home, school, support, security, strength.

I was uncomfortable in Toronto, the last two times I went. This should furthers my discomfort.

I’m not sure what will happen or what I’m going to do but this feels like one event that will mark me for the rest of my life. What will happen? I can only go with the flow, react with compassion and love.

Odd watching a movie, mimed to the sound of Cake. (In the greyhound you need to plug your earphones in their sound system to hear the movie but I chose to listen to music instead.) The bus is a normal Greyhound, nothing remarkable. The passengers seem to be the same but I’m sure they all have a story to tell. In a seat behind me sits an attractive girl, she looks like she’s been traveling a long time. Well equipped, she lies down to sleep on a makeshift pillow. All the rest seem just as average.

In the station I saw woman, Asian maybe, she walked around the station with a bright green suitcase, the kind that you pull, it seemed bigger then her. She was in her late teens a little woman with few curves. As I got into the bus I saw the suitcase standing alone in the middle of the station. I wonder why it was alone, I wonder what happened.

I love my father and I wish him no harm. I wish, as all people do, that it was happening to someone else. I don’t think that I will get there and everything will be wonderful, I just want to see my dad. I want him to know that I care and that I carry no hard feelings.

Well the board is set, the pieces in movement, the players nervous and now all I can do is be strong and caring, If not for him then for myself.

Eric Desmarais
The 22nd of March 2005. 10:06 am.

Part 2

Well I’m home now and in front of my computer. No longer does fear assail my heart, well not much anyways. I went yesterday to Toronto and met my dad and his wife and two of their friends. I haven’t seriously spent time with him in 5 years. Allot changes in five years and even more becomes exaggerated in a young mans mind. We spent a nice evening together, spoke of my family and how everyone is doing. We were all scared but joked most of the night. I never realised that his sense of humour was so close to mine. I think things went well because he wasn’t trying to be a parent anymore. He just wanted to be with his son. It was like hanging out with friends. Sadly I can no longer vilify my dad’s wife; I can see why he’s with her.
My dad and his friend drove me back to the Bus station at 11:30pm to grab the bus at 12. (My Dad couldn’t drive me alone. He’s considered legally blind.) We hugged and said our goodbyes. It was a typical male moment. It was nice.

On the trip back I talked to different people and finally fell asleep. I woke up a few times and when I go to Kanata, I took the 96 home and crawled in bed. The only problem with traveling to Toronto and back in under 24hours, is that I now feel (physically) like shit. Emotionally I’m great but I think I’ll take tomorrow to relax and then the long weekend to work on the things I’ve been putting off.

I received to phone calls today. The first was from Doris (Dad’s wife). The operation went well; they took 35% of the tumour out. Sadly they think it might be cancerous but they won’t know till the tests come in. Besides that he’s ok, no side effects and the headaches are gone. He’s will be back home tomorrow. They scheduled him for an appointment in 3 weeks and we’ll know more then. Middle of my 3 exams… sigh.

The second was from my mom. It’s strange realising that your parents are just normal human beings. She spoke with me for a while and I realise that maybe some of my anger towards him came from her. I don’t blame her though. He left her pregnant and didn’t talk to her till I was 1. He was 18 at the time and probably had no clue. She’s still hurt and I think in her own emotional way (I guess that’s where I get it.) she’s afraid that if I have a close relationship with my dad it will hurt the one I have with her. She’s sort of jealous that she can’t be in that part of my life. I love my parents but they’re just human. It makes me feel good and a little scared. It’s odd when the omnipotence of parents is proven false.

I have spoken to many people about this subject and the reactions I got surprised me. Many thought that I would be better off dealing with the whole situation if I had a girlfriend or a religion. I guess religion would have been comfort when I thought he was going to die. It would have been a comfort if I truly believed in an afterlife. Just knowing for sure that he was going to a better place would have been nice. I had to deal with it differently; I hoped he was going to a better place. I hoped that there was a higher being that was watching over him but these are concepts that I have a hard time believing in. I don’t want to believe the alternative, so what I do is decide to figure it out later.

The girlfriend thing surprises me a great deal more. I knew that religion was a comfort but a girlfriend? I guess I can see where I close partner could help me, comfort me and listen to me. A girlfriend might have helped me not be so grumpy for the past 2 weeks. According to some people sex is the cure for everything. Harrumph! I’d rather be playing D&D. I wouldn’t have minded a girlfriend to help me through this but to put it up there with religion?

I must either be strong or have a good support network because I came out of it stronger, and I thing I’ll be ok for what ever comes next. It was nice having real friends there for me and giving me there support despite the fact that I wasn’t in the greatest of moods, it wasn’t so nice to be attacked personally but let’s not start this again.
One last thing, some of you might be wondering why I don’t put things like this in the friends only section or why I don’t stop people from commenting or even delete nasty comments? The answer is easy, I write to work through things. I become more at peace when I write. The Lj system incites me to write because then I can come back and reread what I said and what others had to say on certain situations. If I write on this, I might as well let anyone read it and if anyone has to read this then they should have the right to respond. So there it is. I get peace of mind therefore you should get the chance to comment on it.

Eric Desmarais
The 23rd of March 2005. 11:02 pm.