Sunday, April 17, 2011

False Stop

This post started out as possibly my last one, but it's not. When I started this blog back in August, I had visions of writing something profound each night on the nature of fatherhood, childhood, being a husband, and anything else that came up during the final months of Linda’s pregnancy and Violet’s first year. In the beginning, ideas often came easy and, whether profound or not, there were many posts that satisfied the writer in me. Those posts contained ideas worth putting down, and I did a reasonably good job of doing so.

As I’ve mentioned in posts before, I didn’t want this blog to be just another collection of baby pictures, exclamations about how beautiful our baby is, and/or a list of all the cute things our baby does day after day. As time went on, however, I found myself writing those posts. More and more, I started to wonder if I should end this blog. I’d scan the list of recent posts, looking for one that I was really proud of, something memorable and true, and I’d come up empty. It was true that I committed to posting each day until Violet’s first birthday, and giving up would be a failure of sorts, but what if fulfilling the commitment meant dozens and dozens of mediocre posts? What would be the point in that?

And then today, Linda went out for the afternoon and took Violet with her, leaving me alone for the longest stretch of time since before Violet was born. I did some cleaning, and while putting books away on a downstairs shelf, I knocked one of my old journals to the floor. I opened it up and happened to look at an entry from 1992, nearly twenty years ago, about an afternoon I spent with my girlfriend at the time, my first serious girlfriend. It was an afternoon I hadn’t thought about since I wrote the entry, and the entry was full of melodramatic worrying and wondering that most young adults in the throes of first love go through (at least I hope they do). It made me cringe a bit to read it, but in an entirely pleasurable way. The entry took me back to that afternoon, and if I hadn’t written it down, I might never have thought about it again. That thought didn’t sit well, and it made me realize the point of keeping my commitment I made last August. Every post I write here that seems ordinary or second-rate now will take on something more in time, something that only the forgetful nature of time can bestow. Five, ten, twenty years from now, I’ll be grateful for every post – the mundane, the poorly worded, the fawning – the faults won’t matter. What will matter is that I’ll have a small sliver of each day of Violet’s first year. I’ll have them and so will she. To end it now would mean letting those slivers dry up and disappear as most memories inevitably do. So I’ll still keep searching for the profound thought or moment, for the posts that will leave me feeling satisfied, but if I can’t find them, I’ll let the proud poppa out of the bag, and he can tell you how beautiful Violet is or what astounding thing she did today. Years from now, I’ll be grateful for every word.

148 days old


  1. Congratulations on deciding to continue these well written daily blogs. Twenty years from now you will be happy for this decision.

  2. I read your posts every day, and although I haven't commented until now, please know that I find a simple joy in reading them. They make me smile, and when Violet had her recent health scare, your posts made my heart skip several beats.

    But don't write for others. Write for you.

  3. Tony - thanks - I realized that the long view is what matters, not the small stuff that I sweat each day. Even now, I'm grateful for the posts from when Linda was pregnant - good posts and not-so-good - because I've already forgotten so much from that time.

    Gwen - thank you very much for reading the blog, for your comment, and for your kind words. I try hard to write for me - and for Violet, it's as much for her as it is for me - but it's tough to do when so many people I know are reading these lines. But figuring out what I did with this post has freed me up a bit - at least for the time being - to not think so much about the posts, and to just get down what I'm thinking and what's happening with Violet. Years after her first birthday candles are blown out, I know I'll be grateful for whatever I've written.