Saturday, March 16, 2013

First Year

So today, we celebrated Tiny Tien’s first full year.  She has left the tutorial stage, and is now level one!  What amazes me the most is how quickly the time has passed.  It felt like just yesterday I found out that my wife was pregnant, and about an hour ago that I was worried about all of the complications that we had run into leading up to her birth.  Now, she’s a full year old, and I have to tell you, it has been a heck of a ride.

First and foremost, I was able to keep her alive for a full year!  For me, that’s a heck of a feat.  I’m sure there was some luck involved, but I’ve been trying my best to make sure she’s safe, healthy, and generally happy.  Her frequent smiles, and her desire to cling to me seems to be a sign that I’m providing her with a safe haven, so that’s good.  Honestly, it amazes me how much she wants to be around me.  She’s already around me most of every day, and yet, even when her mom comes home, she will routinely look for and crawl to me. 

While I’m very happy that she trusts me, and wants to be near me, a part of me is concerned that when the time comes for me to go back to work, it might affect her adversely.  I guess we’ll have to see what happens.  I love spending time with her, but to be honest, I’m getting a bit antsy to return to the workforce.  I’ve learned over the past couple of years that I’ve been here in Japan that I function much better when I have a regular routine that compensates me for my work.  Otherwise, I easily begin to slack off, and generally feel kind of worthless because I don’t feel like I’m contributing anything. 

Yes, I understand how much effort goes into raising a child, and I don’t belittle or discount the amount of work that goes into it (believe me, after this experience, there’s no way in hell I’d ever do that) but to be honest, I just feel that unless I’m actually working at a job earning a paycheck, I’m not doing enough.  Of course, watch me go back to work and start to complain about missing the time with my little girl.  Argh, stupid brain.

Anyway, back to her first year.  It has been filled with a lot of trials and tribulations; things I’d expected, but wasn’t as prepared for as I thought.  Mainly, it has to do with the difficulties in the marital relationship, as I’ve said before that I never expected to be the one at home.  However, we’ve been working those out, and with my daughter growing up well, and being happy, it has made things much easier to handle.  I’m sure if my little girl was cranky, or crying all the time, or generally a much less joyful child, there would be a lot more issues.  However, whether it’s due to her naturally happy disposition, or I’m actually doing something right, her happiness is contagious, and my wife and I are doing much better than earlier on. 

As for the part of raising Rinny, she’s actually been rather simple.  Not easy, because no child is easy, but there have been very little complications along the way.  We’ve gotten her all of her shots, she’s been hitting her milestones pretty much right on time, if not a little early, and her growth is pretty much exactly where it needs to be for her age.  Between those things, and her generally being a very sweet child, I couldn’t ask for a better first kid experience. 

We of course had a little party today for her, even if she doesn’t remember it.  We went so far as to bake her a cake, which she was allowed to have some.  That kind of backfired a little, as all the sugar and things might have upset her tummy, but all in all, it was a very nice day.  We were able to get some friends together, both of the adult and infant variety, so everybody was quite engaged.  She got some absolutely adorable gifts, which there will be pictures of in the near future to be posted on my facebook, and it was just a nice, fun day. 

Everyone absolutely loves her, and I think that’s just part of who she is.  She is really easy to love.  I have yet to meet a person who has been hesitant around her, even if she herself has been a little shy around new people.  Her face and smile just seem to inspire happiness in people.  I hope it’s a quality she maintains throughout her life, as it will serve her well.  I think she will, and my job is to make sure she’s able to hold onto her happiness as much as possible.

It’s been an exciting first year, and I can’t wait to see how things progress from here.  I’m a bit torn because I want to see how she grows up, but I don’t want to lose my little girl at the same time.  I have no choice but to watch her grow up of course, but that’s how being a parent is: hope for the future, but holding onto the present.

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