It’s a new year and I haven’t blogged about the journey of a being a new father in a month and a half. I was thinking the other day how there isn’t one thing I do now the same as I did before I was a father. And there’s no better way to explain this phenomena to those who have not yet crossed over into the realm of parenthood than to describe it as a paradigm shift – the center of my universe has changed.
It’s hard to say what the center of my universe was before Eli came along – perhaps it was me? Did the world revolve around me? Well, maybe not everyone’s world. But suffice it to say that for the vast majority of my life, the world had to revolve around me just as it does for anyone who has no ties. When I got married, it was a precursor to what it would be like to be a parent. I could no longer make decisions that only affected me. But when Eli came along, it wasn’t just decisions that were altered. Literally every action I take, every thought I have, is entirely soaked in my being Eli’s father, not being solely Brett.
Make no mistake – this is not a complaint by any means. My life needed to be centered. I’ve spent some time trying to think of things that haven’t changed since Eli was born. I literally go to the bathroom differently than I did before. Whether it’s me holding him in my arms giving him the introductory course to potty training, or whether it’s me anticipating how much time I have before that that “knock knock” comes rapping at the door. Even if I’m alone with friends or colleagues, a simple response to “Hello, how are you?” yields an Eli reference in a single breath. If I’m alone, somewhere Eli’s not yet been, I’m thinking of what it will be like when I can bring him there. I’m constantly composing letters to Eli in my head. I’m always day dreaming not about my future but about his future. Holidays are about what we’re getting for Eli, not for ourselves. Vacations are about what activities there are for Eli, not for ourselves. And to those who make the point that you have to take time for yourself, I cannot disagree. But for now, generating enjoyment for Eli is generating enjoyment for Jaime and me and taking time for myself equates to time away from Eli. For now, I’ll pass on time for myself thank you.
Eli’s smile pulls me in with gravity. Eli’s laugh swirls me into his orbit. Eli’s voice guides my every move. The center of my universe is changed.