My daughter, Olivia, has stolen my heart. At nine weeks old, she has begun to make attempts at communicating with me. A certain way that she only does for me, or so my wife thinks. My daughter will stare at me, she will smile really big and lock eyes with me. She will then make noise and force out sounds while keeping my gaze. Her face and expression so intent on getting some unknown point across to me and for that moment I think we both realize that we do cannot understand each other yet. However, we try. These little moments break me down on the inside. I want so much to converse with her, but for now I try to affirm her positively by giving her my attention. Letting her know that when she wants me, she can have me. I stare as hard as I can into her eyes, not to intimidate, but to show her my presence. She disarms me. I knew that being a parent would change me. I knew that having a girl would decimate me. For all this knowledge, I could not even prepare for how she makes me feel. She defeats me. I want to be a strong, tough father. She and I will undoubtedly cross each other. She and I will undoubtedly wage verbal war covering technicalities of what was said, and how it matters more than what was meant, because we mean only what we say. She is my victory.
I haven’t really written very much about my daughter as much as I thought I would. If anything, I’ve been spending more energy actually speaking to her than about her. I feel as though that’s what a dad should do. Alas, I have time right now.
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