In a normal year, it would be time for me to write a year in review post. I’d look back on the mundane. The post would be about finally getting to see the great Randy Newman in concert and a particularly spectacular night in April seeing the Arcade Fire. I’d no doubt mention my enjoyment of All Eternal’s Deck by the Mountain Goats, the new Tom Waits album, and how much time I’ve spent listening to WU LYF and Cloud Cult. A long part would be about two amazing weeks spent traveling around Europe with my wife. Seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Walking out on Court Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros. Stonehenge and a mad dash to Jane Austen’s house before some surly English docents closed it up for the night. Les Miserables in London’s west end. Chocolate in Belgium. The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. I’d then move into a particularly fun run of basketball in May and June leading up to seeing my beloved Mavs win their first title. 2011 is sounding like a pretty great year, but that stuff seems like distant memories.
In late February, I knew we had a kid on the way. I didn't know he'd be a little boy we'd call Tate. I knew that the first few months of A’s pregnancy would include some morning sickness. I didn't know that for 8 months and 28 days, we’d be experiencing more than a handful of the most difficult days we ever have, not to mention some of the scariest ones. I didn't know that life would be put on hold for nearly 11 weeks of bedrest split out across the hospital and home. I didn't know that on November 14th, I’d get to see A’s face light up as she held our healthy little boy in her arms after a lot of pain and some final scares from a scary pregnancy. That is the 2011 I'll remember.
In years past, I’ve tended to end up lamenting the lack of good change in these sorts of posts. I’m usually still talking about a lack of discipline and a lack of effort on my part in getting out of my shell. Typically, I’m in no better shape physically, mentally, or spiritually. I might even pull in a Bill Mallonee lyric or two to try explain things more poetically than I can myself. It’s been a pretty solid pattern these last several years. This year has been quite different. Sure it’s had its highs and lows, but this little guy sitting next to me has turned my world around.
I figured that a lot of things about being a dad would be just as I had been told, and these past 7 weeks have proved everyone right. The annoyance of the screaming and crying and diaper changes and lack of sleep would melt away by with a simple look from Tate. Priorities would change. My tendencies towards always being on the go and need for the new would be overtaken by a desire to be there for my son. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m excited for what this next year holds.