Two years ago I was in a hospital. I hadn't really thought about it that way, only reminded of it today by the wife who called, ironically, as I was leaving a hospital.
Two years ago tomorrow I was now called dad. Having earned the title after twenty-plus hours of labor watching, female anatomy lesssons, ice-chip fetching, three shifts of nurses, and enough McDonalds to maim a professional hot dog eater. The wife went through some stuff as well I suppose. But it must not have been that bad given she already wants to do it all again.
Two years ago I wheeled the wife and our new plus-one out the hospital door into the world, unbelievably without a trained professional in tow. A stiff breeze and the door slamming shut followed like it was a movie. The combustion of pride and fear kicking in the daddying instincts, I check, re-check, and goddammit, I better check again, the car seat straps. A four mile drive home becomes a white-knuckled journey strewn with deadly threats and a couple stops just to make sure everyone is still breathing.
Two years ago I had never defrosted a bag of breast milk, fished a baby-turd out of the tub, extracted a LEGO from a toilet, or had a pacifier fall out of my pocket at work. I had never taught someone their first word or caught them after their first ever step. I had never taken a kid to the zoo or sniffed a butt to see just how dirty it was.
Two years ago I didn't know it was possible for time to pass even faster.
Two years ago I hadn't thought about what a two year old should get for their birthday. A fancy talking doll, over-the-top swing set, pony, IPhone - all things that crossed my mind. For probably the last time, the concept of birthdays for her is still undiscovered. But cake, shredding paper and gathering more things to call mine are definitely not. The folder for Birthday #2 anxiously awaits its fulfillment of jpg.s and videos.
So if anyone out there is listening and knows someone, could you ask them to slow things the hell down? A gift idea for birthday number three wouldn't hurt either.