Today I turn 34.
Like most of my birthdays I’m not entirely sure what to make of it.
A lot happened in the last year, most of which was the birth of my daughter. She was born a month after my 33rd birthday last year.
No doubt life has changed. It’s changed a lot actually. Every day is a routine from the moment she has her first bottle to the time she eats breakfast, then she eats lunch, then she naps, then she eats dinner, then she takes a bath and then she gets her night bottle before going to bed. We’ve developed a pretty well-oiled machine.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s much more magical than that. Watching her grow up and learn new things every day like crawling, laughing, making noises or giggling at feeling a dog’s whiskers on her cheeks, has been fun and of course for me, enlightening.
Every day I come home, she looks toward the door at me and grins. Then I pretty much can’t do anything else until I pick her up or get on the floor with her to play.
The whole thing has hit me on a gut level. I can’t even explain it. A new facet of my being has been created and every day is becoming a discovery.
So now it’s my birthday and I look at this shift in my life. I am still John but at the same time my identity has expanded to my daughter. While she has part of my DNA, she still is influenced by me and her mother through our behavior and mannerisms, all of which she absorbs.
Why do I think about this on my birthday? Maybe it’s because for so long I looked at my birthday as a milestone in my life. Now I know it’s not just my life that my actions affect anymore.
I wonder if I’m a good father and if I’m doing enough to enrich her life. As a philosophy-driven person, I am always looking at who I am as a person and what I can do differently to be fulfilled. Now I look at both our lives and how far we’ve come in just a year.
I can’t even imagine what I’m going to be like on her first birthday.