This is by far one of my favorite pictures. It seemingly represents a father “asleep on the job”. The parenting books say that you shouldn’t do this. However I have this identical photo with my son and I never had a mishap. There are many reasons why I love this picture. One is that it is a reminder of a period of time when I learned a lot about myself.
The learning curve for a first-time (and even second time) parent is pretty steep. Your life is filled with turmoil and you work on less sleep than seems humanly possible. A key to survival as a parent is self-knowledge. My wife and I were a good team through the infant stages because we knew our own and the other’s strengths. My cuddle naps were a piece of the puzzle that made a difficult time more manageable. I knew that I wouldn’t roll because the cargo was too precious. Raising a child is a mixture of trial and error with a complete belief that you will not fail no matter what.
Babies teach you a lot about yourself because you can’t bargain with them. They let you know their needs on a constant basis. Your complaints, excuses and convenience do not matter to a new born baby. They will test your limits and then retest them the next day. Ultimately you end up finding strength that you never thought you had before. It is inevitable because you have no other choice.
What is your baby? Is it making the varsity team? Is it singing a solo in the concert? Is it running a marathon? Is it asking that special someone to prom? Is it finishing that book that you started six months ago?
Take care of your baby. Keep it warm and safe. Feed it with the best fuel that you can find. Help it get on its feet. Stand it back up when it falls flat on its face. Help it find its legs and walk on its own. Protect it from the ridicule of others. Watch it grow and be proud of what it becomes because it is yours.