Way back in June, in one of my more favorite blog posts of 2017, I listed reasons why I am proud of Sloan. Over the past six months, Sloan has given Sidney and I many more reasons to be proud of her, with one of them being her ability to teach us about life. In tonight’s blog post, I want to list five quick reasons (in no particular order) in which Sloan has taught us lessons over the course of her short life.
Lesson #1: Life is Fragile – Although Sloan is growing bigger and is much more robust than she once was, she is still very much a baby. When I hold her, I marvel at her little hands, her little feet, and her little ears. She doesn’t even weigh 20 pounds and we have to express her height in inches. I have to be very careful when I set her down or pick her up because her mini body simply requires great care. I work all day with people who have reached adult size so it is always an adjustment when I pick up Sloan at the end of the day. However, while she might be delicate, she still shares a trait with every other living human: she has a heartbeat. It just so happens that her little heart is inside a little body that requires the utmost care.
Lesson #2: Genetics Are Real! – Oh what fun it is to observe the traits of Sloan. As she grows older each day, our daughter’s genes seem to become more pronounced. We can trace physical and behavioral traits to either her mommy’s side or her daddy’s side and there is never a shortage of examples. We get even more of a kick when friends, family, and random observers tell us who they see in Sloan. Yes, nature is pretty amazing. Our little girl is certainly a product of the two of us and it is a thrill to see it expressed.
Lesson #3: Unpredictability – Having Sloan has taught us to become better at dealing with the element of surprise. When you have a baby, you have no idea if any given week, or just any given day, is going to go according to plan. Little ones become sick, keep random sleeping hours, have bathroom emergencies at inopportune times, and experience the occasional meltdown. All these episodes can throw a wrench into plans and schedules. However, because of good teamwork and patience by mom and dad, we have learned to roll with the punches when Sloan goes off script.
Lesson #4: The Biggest Adjustment – Everyone will tell you that having a baby will change your life completely. This is absolutely true. It becomes very apparent that the freedom and the time you once enjoyed were things of the past. However, Sidney and I did a good job heeding this advice and anticipating lifestyle changes before giving birth to Sloan, thus making it feel as if the rug wasn’t completely pulled from underneath us when March 17 came along. But, you can only prepare so much. Sacrifices must be made and past expectations dramatically altered. Having children is the biggest adjustment anyone will ever have to face but it is so worth it.
Lesson #5: The Power of Love – Until you have a baby, you will never realize how strong parental love can be. Having a child immediately makes your heart grow a couple sizes so that you are able to give your son or daughter the love he/she needs. It will make you question how you were even able to live before your baby was born. Your soul will never be the same and you will literally know what it means to “have a place in your heart” for someone.
Aside from some of the big themes above, Sloan continues to teach me new things each day. I look forward to the evolution of my education via my daughter as the weeks, months, and years go by. Don’t Blink.