Friday, April 27, 2012

New Adventures from Arcy

May 12th, 2001: The day my life changed.  I graduated high school and began to take steps to become my own independent person.

May 12th, 2006: The day my life changed.  I graduated from Bob Jones University and officially ended my first--perhaps only--college experience.

June 30th, 2007: The day my life changed.  It was the last day of any perceived singleness and the first day that I thought of myself as part of a team.  It was the day I was engaged to the most wonderful lady in the world.

July 30th, 2008: The day my life changed.  It was my first day of being one with my amazing wife, Charity Faith.

May 15th, 2011: The day my life changed.  It was the day that I found out my wife and I were not alone in the room anymore.  We would be welcoming a blessing in less than 9 months.

January 29th, 2012: The day my life changed.  It was the day I met the glimmer in my wife's eye.  We welcomed Darcy Ryanne into our small family.

Our little beauty arrived in good health and loud spirits on that cold Sunday afternoon.  My wife bravely bore 14 hours of labor--4 of which were absolutely draining.  She did such a great job!

Perhaps I am not really that emotional as a father, but there were several times in the process that I thought "oh brother."  One of the first ones happened when we were looking at ultrasounds.  I knew that was my child in there, but I felt somewhat detached from it.  This other-world image of black and white seemed to make the baby look almost silly.  I didn't feel connected to her.  Then during the process, I am sitting there attempting to help my wife--believe me, attempting is the correct word as I think many times I actually failed--and I kept thinking with every bout of contractions and pushing that the baby was almost there.  Of course I was doing that during the first 3 hours of hard labor and it still wasn't happening.

I didn't even feel all that connected when they "encouraged" me to cut the cord.  Really, I don't get that whole symbolism aspect.  No, I connected with my daughter when I held her for the first time.  I knew I was at some time going to change in the whole process and when I held her for the first time, that is when I truly had that "ah ha!" moment with her.

All at once, I became frightened about everything.  I worried about how to take care of her, whether that sound I just heard was her first cold, whether the color of...everything...was quite right and the list could end up in the hundreds of entries.  Needless to say, I could not help thinking of all the things she was going to need over the next two decades of her life.

Flash forward to the present.  She has been an active little presence in our household for two whole months. She has been a reminder to me of what I have left to still learn.  For starters, I need more patience.  She requires that I become more patient.  The first week we were home, I would get frustrated with her and hand her off to Charity.  I know this behavior is not of the most mature level, but I would get overwhelmed with my failed attempts to soothe and calm her.  I would then watch with not a little embarrassment at Charity quietly, gradually and firmly getting her to sleep.  Talk about frustrating!

Oh, and have I said how awesome my wife is?  She does an amazing job of taking care of child, house and me.  That is a lot of work in its own right, but she does it with a largely happy and upbeat spirit.  Even as I write this she is happily feeding and putting Darcy down for the night.  She is great.

Back to the adventures and changes here in the Moorehead house.  I get up in the morning, throw on some clothes and take the dog for a half-hour walk.  When I get back, it is a quick meal, a fast shower, a hurried change of clothes and I am off to school.  Then the real work begins...for my wife.  She spends most of her day dealing with dirty diapers, fussy child and normal household chores.  I have to deal with 25+ kids all day long but they don't require the constant attention that my own wife gives to our single child.

At the end of the day, I come home to a very tired and somewhat stressed wife.  Nevertheless, she is happy.  I see it all over her face almost all the time.  Like a sweet mother hen to her precious chick, she tends to her as only a mother can.  She amazes me.

And Darcy?  Darcy changes constantly.  I cannot seem to look at her for more than a couple seconds before I see a change.  One day she sleeps all the time.  The next day she won't sleep at all.  Soon she is looking at me.  The next day, she is seeing me.  She gained meager control of her vocal chords and is now making all manner of noises to the delight of her awaiting parents.  Never were such small sounds so longed for.

No longer do we simply look at each other and say, "Let's go out."  Now, every venture from the house is an excursion requiring bags and things to go in those bags to reach their capacities and strollers and blankets and snacks (for Charity, not the baby).

We have time limits.  Not only can we not be "out" too long, but we must go at the right times.  Basically, I have to consult the mystical clock that is the "schedule."  The "schedule" rules all and is ultimately powerful.  It has the ability to turn off all the lights in my house, draw the shades, turn off my relatively new LCD HDTV and stop all manner of other activities in the house.  It compels us to whisper almost constantly.  It is of the greatest power!

Ultimately, it is all worth it.  We are not experiencing something that any new parent hasn't and thankfully we are not experiencing what many have.  We are simply going on our own personal adventure quest to get to know this thing called parenthood and to get to know this amazing life.  She, I hope will not be our only adventure in this life, but I hope we learn much from her.  She has taught us so much thus far and I can't wait to get to know her more!

More to come...

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Daniel and Charity Moorehead