Thoughts on parenthood, part one

It’s been a year since the hot July evening when my best friend gave birth to our baby daughter. That was a long day, to be followed by many long days and long nights, learning little by little how to care for a baby growing and developing before our very eyes.

She’s a toddler now. Her favourite activities are walking up and down our long living room with a little wooden trolley, and climbing onto the sofa, then climbing down, then climbing up again. Yesterday, leaving the house, she said “Bye bye Lar” to our dog, Larry. We’ve been on a couple of bike rides. She has friends at nursery school, including one who gave her a present the other day. She loves music, singing and dancing, especially rock ‘n’ roll, reggaeton and “What shall we do with the drunken sailor?”.

Parenthood is at once strange and instantly familiar. It’s the biggest responsibility, but also the most rewarding. The most fascinating thing about it is that our daughter is not just a facsimile of her parents. She’s an individual person, forming her own personality, likes and dislikes. Obviously, we’ll influence her hugely, but she is not us. And we are not her.

The life I want for our daughter is simple happiness. I want her to learn to ski and sail. To love books and travel. Not to be burdened with too much homework until she’s much bigger. To love food and cooking. To adore and respect the countryside and wildlife. And all the things she’s going to show us that I can’t even imagine now.

All in good time, Tom. All in good time.

For the moment, sleeping through the night would be a big step forward.

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