My daughter is one. In what seems like a much shorter period, she has grown up so quickly. From the absolute dependence a small baby needs, to a roaming little baby girl that wants to already do things herself. Her nicknames are baby owl, baby girl, pretty, and any number of other names that sound cute because that's exactly what she is.
She is precious to me and my wife. She shows her love with the excitement she has when she sees us, even if it's from a short absence of our presence. I would give anything to be with her at all times, but I have come to realize things during her first year. In a sense, I am only one too.
I am a father and she is our first child. I feel a sense of helplessness sometimes, knowing I can't protect her all of the time, but always wanting to makes me feel like I'm doing everything I can to watch after her and be the best dad I can be for her. She deserves that. She deserves the best I can be for her, so she will one day realize she is worth the love and support that her mother and father have for the daughter they cherish more than anything else in this world.
This isn't about expectations. It's about the life we want for her. To be able to love like we have and to make choices like we have and to feel the wonderful responsibility of one day having her own child. Yes, that is a long time away, yet I hope time seems to slowly pass so I can love every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year.
That's what she means to me. I fear missing the time I've already missed, but know supporting a family comes at a price we all share. We must provide for the ones we love and the time away working is only a bridge where my wife and little girl are waiting on the other side. I am so fond for the end of the day, not to be done with work, but to start the day with my family.
Yesterday, our daughter slept beside me for a little while before work. It was the best Monday morning before work I've ever had in my life. It's knowing that she needed her momma and dadda a little earlier than she normally wakes up, and being able to go to her room, pick her up, and let her sleep next to us.
I hope I can provide what she needs for all time and I will strive with every effort to achieve that. It's what she deserves. It's what she will get.