Our daughter was born on September 24, a beautiful baby girl. See the photos if you don't believe me.
For months I had been hearing people tell me: your life is about to change, your old life is about to end, and so on. And I listened and thought: yeah, yeah, I know.
I didn't have a clue.
I have never been more elated or more frightened. I have never felt more grown-up in my life. The closest thing I can think of to this experience is when I entered a very rigorous 2-year program of volunteer missionary service 12 years ago and overnight my life changed completely. But while that may bear some resemblance, it really doesn't come close in the degree of intensity. The nature of my parenting tasks will change in 2-3 years as my daughter becomes potty trained and learns to talk, but she'll be my responsibility for the rest of my life. She's so cute and beautiful that I agree to it without hesitation.
Not yet 12 days have passed since her birth and I already feel like I have been through a grueling initiation into a really cool, really exclusive secret club. If my eyelids droop from lack of sleep, I still can hold my head up and say, like Ed Fitzgerald scratched on a highway railing outside of Barstow: "today I am a man." I've done something even harder than hitch-hike across the country during the Great Depression.
It's odd being back at work now, doing what I did before and yet knowing that my life is completely different.
And yes, after cleaning up after dogs, changing baby diapers is a cinch.
(See my Flickr photos for more views of her cuteness)