Another year older. Another year wiser.
Or at the very least, another year older. Thirty three. Twenty three-year-old me is laughing at me and calling me an old man. Thirteen-year-old me is too busy playing with his Legos to pay me much attention. Three-year-old me has absolutely no concept of his own mortality (much like twenty three-year-old me and thirteen-year-old me). All three are completely deluded in the notion that they’ll be young indefinitely and have all the time in the world to “do something.”
Thirty three-year-old me isn’t quite as confident in that belief. Sure, times are changing–modern medicine and general hygiene are worlds ahead of where they were even a hundred years ago. Hell, two hundred years ago a fellow would have been counted lucky to find himself as healthy and vital as I am now. (A fellow four hundred years ago would be looking over his shoulder every minute checking for the reaper.)
So old? Nah. Older for sure, but not old. Not yet. Still too much to do. And this will be the perfect year. Derek said it best–”This will be a very big year for our family.”
Damn right. 2014 is going to be huge, bigger even than 2013. Not that the past year hasn’t been eventful! I had my first photo exhibition, had two photos featured at the local science museum, had a blast camping out with a great group of guys (one of whom left us tragically early a short while after), adapted and recorded a song for my girl’s birthday, had an amazing time out in California, married my girl for the second time in as many years, wrestled with an octopus… picture project, received some even more life-changing news, had the great privilege to be my brother’s best man, finally moved into a house after a decade of living in apartments, was overcome with pride as I watched Maggie graduate from her master’s program (having since watched her grow into a capable and highly effective special education instructor), painted a nursery, and learned I could paint a nursery, all the while creating some of the most personal and (in my opinion) best art I ever have.
But year, 2014 is going to be huge (huger?). It will be a year for family big and small. It will be a year of youthful discovery (and rediscovery, no doubt). It will be the year of Myka. A year of adventure. A year of love.
So I say bring it on 2014. Bring it on thirty three.
In this short time before she arrives (holy crap, mere weeks), I find it’s the perfect opportunity to ponder not the confidence in my fatherly abilities, but what I want (hope for?) from my daughter. Now’s the best time because I haven’t met you yet. Haven’t laid eyes on your face even in the ultrasound room (such a stubborn woman already). Haven’t been completely blinded and entirely biased by your perfection. Now is the time for idealistic thinking. What I hope and wish for (in no particular order).
- I want to instill in you a love of books and literature from all cultures and eras.
- A yearning to question things.
- A capacity for kindness and compassion greater than my own.
- A desire to be close to people and learn more about them and from them (requiring a social ease and grace that far surpasses any that I possess).
- A respect for art and creativity.
- The confidence to express yourself vocally, emotionally, and creatively.
- The ability to distinguish between what is the best thing to do for yourself and what is the right thing to do, the strength to do the latter, and the wisdom to know when it’s okay to do the former.
- The courage to be adventurous.
- To quest beyond what I can teach to discover knowledge I cannot begin to fathom.
Y’know, just a few modest goals as a father. That’s not too much to ask, right? Though, if she’s health and happy, I will have accomplished more than enough for 2014.
The rest can wait until 2015. ; )