Today, my wife and I hosted a party for our son Ethan’s first birthday. There were friends, family, a cake, and one of the messiest one-year-olds I have ever seen. I know it is cliché, but it has also proven to be true that “children grow up so fast!” It feels like just last week I was carefully cradling a little 6 lbs. ball of humanity in the crook of my arm. And now I have a little boy with his own personality.
With one year of parenting under my belt, I thought I would reflect on what I have learned this year.
- Parenting is not as hard as I thought. The idea of being a father was a lot like my idea of graduating college or getting married. There were many unknowns that seemed to loom over my head. “How am I supposed to hold the baby?” “Will he sleep through the night?” “How am I going to pay for this?” And like getting married, being a parent is something you just do one day at a time.
- Parenting is much harder than I thought. I never realized how much children watch and mimic. And before having the boy, I was a lot more oblivious to my own wickedness. It is just easier to live life when it’s just you and your spouse, the two of you conquering the world. But when you add a kid to the equation, life has the potential to get complicated and convicting. There is no pause button for a baby with an overwhelmed poo diaper.
- Multi-ethnic kids are beautiful. Not that your boy or girl is not handsome or pretty. But my 1/4 Korean boy is just more handsome. I never get tired of seeing the boy smile. Or frown for that matter, though I imagine that sentiment might change in the teenage years.
- I have the best wife in existence. If you are not me, which most of you aren’t, you missed out. My wife is the kindest, most nurturing, intentional, and sacrificial person I know. Not to mention she is nice to look at. It breaks my heart to even consider raising a kid without her. God knew what he was doing when he paired up man and woman.
- Parenting is an amazing privilege. Aside from salvation and marriage, becoming a daddy is the most satisfying things that has ever happened to me. The fact that a little person gets excited when I am in the room blows my mind. And the fact that I hold the responsibility to raise this little person in the way God requires is more than a little daunting. But the boy is worth so much more than any sacrifice that I have made.
This first year has been great! I look forward to being Ethan’s daddy for years to come.
Update: By request, I added a photo section so you can check out some of the photos from the party. You can also check out the Flickr page. Solid proof that my kid is awesome.