"The Ecstacy and...... (Part 2 continues with The Agony" below)
It was on the morning of September 6th 2001 when my world was first rocked. My wife was having a scheduled C-section that morning at 8am, but I was there around 6am for prep along with my parents. I was about to become a father for the first time. In no way was I overconfident that I would know what I was doing. This was a trait I learned from MY father. NEVER underestimate any challenge or anybody. I remember putting on the hospital scrubs and that mask on my face and thinking "Nope, not cut out out to be wearing this garb on a regular basis. Doesn't look too good on me either." Once I was outfitted, a nurse asked me if I wanted to watch the birth of my daughter from side A (The side where all the action occured) or side B (The other side). Not wanting to underestimate what I was about to view, I quickly chose side B. I could have chosen side A, but I thought it would be inappropriate to ask the medical staff if I could have a shot of Jack Daniels. Shortly thereafter, I was holding our new baby girl. It was exhilarating, but yet odd at the same time. Again, I was thinking, "You mean I'm TOTALLY responsible for your well being now"? To me, a daunting thought indeed. However, I knew this was one responsibility I would be taking very seriously. "Never underestimate any challenge." The next 5 days were as you might expect. There were lots of hugs, kisses, diaper changes, late night feedings, burpings and spit ups. I had taken some time off from work and my wife was on maternity leave. As any first time parent knows, it was an eye opening experience, or should I say eye closing experience since we weren't sleeping much. This was one ACTIVE little girl. To this day that characteristic holds so true. I was "in love" again. I jokingly thought to myself, "Is this what they mean by TOUGH LOVE"? I'm not certain I'd ever been this exhausted, but yet I was mesmerized by this tiny little baby and that she was my daughter. "My Little Girl" turns nine this week. She is a beautiful burst of energy. It would not be inaccurate to call her the energizer bunny of the family. She's outgoing and generally cheerful, a sunny disposition indeed. It's utterly fascinating to watch her grow up, especially for someone who loves to figure people out, like me. Sometimes I wish I could slow things down a bit. "My Little Girl" is beginning to grow up.