Following is the original column I’d been working on for the Father’s Day edition of the paper, which as the print edition explains was bumped at the last minute for another idea. It’s not finished and is a rough copy, but it has a lighter tone than what got into print and shows my feelings for the day.
The story that made it into the paper is available by following the Sunday Lifestyle link at the right.
As I spend my first Father’s Day as the recipient as well as issuer of accolades, I will spend today being thankful for the perspective having a child has given me.
• A year ago, a spit-up spot on my shoulder would irk me. Now, I’m thankful the regurgiated formula got me instead of Penny, which would force me to change her outfit yet again.
• I used to think my wife brought a lot of luggage on trips. That was before the first time I piled a Pack and Play, sterilizer, drying rack, booster seat and diaper bag into the car.
• They say that you’ll always remember that first kiss from that special someone. What they don’t tell you is that the most memorable kiss is either your daughter wiping her mouth off on your cheek or attempting to gnaw on your nose — but that doesn’t diminish the memory in the least.
• Any morning where you don’t have “The Alphabet Song” or that other tune her favorite toy plays stuck in your head when you leave for work is a bonus.
• That purple fruit goo you feed her for lunch doesn’t look like much, but it’s darn tasty.
• Her formula is not.
• There’s organizing what you have to get done at work, there’s organizing your gumball machine collection and there’s organizing a birthday party. About three notches above any of those is organizing everything you’ll need in arm’s reach before you settle into the rocker for the baby’s nap.
• Six hours of sleep used to be considered a good start to my night of slumber. Now it’s considered a starting feat of longevity.
• Really now, when did everything you do in life suddenly become such a serious hazard for the baby? I’m scared to acquire new DVDs (the stack could fall on her), eat with her on the floor (she could crawl into the table or knock the food out of my lap) and consume peanut butter (those nut allergies are serious business). I’d include reading the newspaper (paper cuts) on this list, but then I’d put myself out of a job.
• A huge Kiss fan, I went to see former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley in concert earlier this year, scoring second-row seats and getting his autograph. Still didn’t come close to beating the feeling I got from Penny’s smile that greeted me when I got home.
• If there’s a sweeter sound than your child’s laughter — which can make a grown adult strike various goofy poses until his face hurts, smell his daughter’s feet a thousand times because it amuses her and shout “Boo” for hours on end — it hasn’t yet been discovered.
• Never has giving up credit (”Penny, I read your stories every week,” we are often greeted with by strangers) felt so good. Actually, maybe SHE’S the one forced to forfeit the credit since she serves as the inspiration.
• I used to think “being tired” was what I felt after playing baseball or helping someone move all day. Nope.
• All of a sudden, I like pictures. I even remember to bring the camera with us now — sometimes.