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

The Past was like Totally Better

Nostalgia: Sentimental longing for or regretful memory of a period of the past, esp. one in an individual’s own lifetime; (also) sentimental imagining or evocation of a period of the past. – Oxford English Dictionary

Someday we’ll look back on today and think how wonderful the world was and how horrible it has become. I can say that without exaggeration because it’s already happened. It’s happening right now. (I’m looking at you!)

I think it’s part of human nature that we idolize a time where we think we were happier, where life was simpler, where all the horrible things had yet to happen. We latch onto the horrible things in our lives now and glorify the good things of the past.

It’s not that we forget the bad things but their bite lessens with time. We can see it with less bias. There are two quotes that come to mind and I’ll say upfront that I disagree with Doctor Who.

“Great men are forged in fire, it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame” – 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness, and love.” – Gandalf, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

These two quotes define our cultures beliefs on life. Fire, turmoil, battle, horror, etcetera are what creates great people. It is what makes exciting stories but not people. We don’t define ourselves by our hardships but our successes. When we don’t, we run into trouble.

Back to nostalgia… Nostalgia is our way of whitewashing our past and making sure we mostly remember the good stuff. It’s not that we want to forget the bad but that we want to concentrate on the good. We also tend to make a big deal about stuff that we won’t find important in the future.

A good example for me is writing. When I’m writing I feel stressed to be writing, but excited. I also feel ridiculously frustrated when I first edit. When all is said and done and I have an “almost” finished book (I say almost because my mind will never let me finish. I can always do more.) I feel amazing and only remember the excitement and elation of writing.

In some cases nostalgia is right but in a lot of cases it’s not. The world isn’t worse off than it was twenty years ago. The nineties wasn’t a better time. The internet and technology isn’t leading us to a horrible brain melting doom.

Nostalgia is great, especially with a drink and an old friend, but next time you find yourself saying, “When I was a kid…” stop and try to think of the good things now.

We live in a time of wonder and excitement.

If you need proof:  At the begining of 2014 Biofabrication isn’t Science Fiction.

See you in the New Year my Imaginary Friends!

Éric