An Open Letter to First-Time-Parents
It will go faster than you think.
Time, that is.
Sure, you know it will go fast. People have told you that. You even believe that time will go fast.
But the thing is, you have no idea.
Early on in my first daughter's first year, we moved to Albuquerque. My wife, Emily, needed to take two classes at the University of New Mexico to finish her degree at New Mexico State.
At the time, I was working as a copy editor at the Albuquerque Journal, which meant that I basically worked 4 p.m. to midnight. So Emily took her two classes in mid-morning, and I would watch the baby.
As a new male parent, I had no idea what to do with a baby that small. And the baby liked her mother. So it was a stressful time for me. And I'm sure that the baby could sense my stress, which made it a stressful time for her.
Luckily for me, she fell asleep most days in the car after we dropped Emily off at UNM. Also lucky for me is that gasoline was still cheap then. So I'd point my little white Pontiac Sunbird westward, drive out to Edgewood, turn around, and come back.
I can close my eyes and see her in the car seat in the rear-view mirror.
When she did not fall asleep, we'd head back to the apartment on Constitution Avenue NE (my favorite address of all time), and play with blocks. We had these rubber Winnie the Pooh blocks that I would stack up, and she would sit between my legs and knock them over. Time and time again.
Eventually, she'd tire of that and cry. And I'd go to my wits end to find some way to entertain her. Those two hours seemed to last forever. I thought they'd never end.
And then one day, I'm staring at her sitting next to me at Sonic drinking and apple juice slush.
And she's 9.
And where in the hell did 8 years go?
And I was smiling, but there was still a tear in my eye.
And I'd give anything to have that baby back for two hours.
For two minutes.
You know that time will go fast.
But really, you have no idea.