Once you’re a Dad, everyone around you asks you what it’s like to be one. They want to know how different I feel now that I’m a Dad. Before Kaia was born, I wondered, too, what it would be like; and I pictured myself being constantly overwhelmed by the immensity of her life. Now that she’s here, and we’re feeding, and rocking, and cheering over her poop, I find that there is a definite difference, but that the content of that difference is extremely hard to explain.
The best way I have of explaining how I feel about having a daughter is that everything has completely changed, but nothing has really changed. At once, everything about my daily routine, the pattern of my thoughts, and the environment I live in has completely changed; but the underlying rules of the game, and the strategy for navigating it has remained constant. I am the same person, although my circumstance has changed; and although my roles in life have shifted drastically, the way I look at life is, currently, the same as it was before.
I think that this is a product of my approach to life. I have a tendency to focus exclusively on one step of one problem at a time and an ability to turn my thoughts on any particular subject off, almost at will. When I’m confronted by really big ideas and events that I can’t process in one chunk, I tend to tuck my chin, look at my feet and concentrate solely on the next step, refusing to consciously contemplate the immensity of the mountain I’m climbing. The only thing currently allowed in the forefront of my mind is the next diaper changing and how I can help my wife to get some sleep; I let my sub-conscious deal with the immensity of what this birth means for my family.
My life has changed, but life has not changed. I have not changed although the life I find myself in has changed. My whole world has been turned inside-out but it’s really still just one foot in front of the other; one problem at a time. So, everything has changed, but nothing has really changed.
A prayer for my little girl
My God, I ask that you would bless my daughter. I ask that you would give her beauty; that you would clothe her beauty in strength, her strength in courage, her courage in wisdom, and her wisdom in love. May Your love saturate her; may it be all-encompassing and driving. I ask that she would know Your love and be Your love.
I ask that you would shape her in the image of Your Son, that Your Spirit would lie thick on her, guiding and forming her. I ask that you would fill her with a love for Your, for Your Kingdom, and for Your justice. I ask that she would abhor injustice, be discerning to see it, wise to know how to stop it, and courageous to do what is needed. I ask that she would be a sign, instrument, and foretaste of Your Kingdom.
I ask that you would help us to be good parents. Give us patience and understanding to raise her well. Help us to always understand that she is Your child more than she is ours; that we are foster parents helping to raise Your daughter on Your behalf. Help us not to screw her up too much, only just enough.
In the Holy name of Your Son Jesus Christ I pray this,