Dad Love, Pt. 6 – First Steps

July 17, 2015

I’m learning there are a lot of “first times” when you have a kid. I’m sure my father remembers the first time I told him his car was “hit in the parking lot.” (There would be subsequent times.) The first year is full of non-stop firsts. Like the first time I saw Cozy figure out how to use her thumbs. Mind blown. There was the first time she rolled over on her own. That was pretty amazing as there was about a two week build-up of valid attempts and then BAM. I was there for that.

There are a couple of big ones. Yeah, she got mama before dada, but she rocks “Dada!” a lot more these days. Maybe she is saying, “Where is Dada and why does he only appear on Mama’s laptop? If I pretend to be asleep, perhaps I’ll hear them explain why.” It must be confusing because of all the,  “Oh, baby” business. “Me? Are you talking to me? You said, ‘oh baby,” Dada.”

I mention this because yesterday Cozy took her first steps and I had to see it second hand in a video Andrea sent me. Cozy walked her first walk in the same house Andrea took her first steps, in Morelia, Mexico. Her mother and her sister were there as well, all coaching my daughter on. All the Mexican relatives call her by her middle name, Valentina, because Cozy sounds weird in Spanish. In the video, you can see how proud Cozy Valentina is of her accomplishment. “Bravo! Bravo!”

Of course I’m sad that I missed it. Two more days later and I could have been there to clap with the whole family. But in a way, it’s good timing. She walked yesterday, today is her eleven month birthday and tomorrow morning we will all be  reunited in the Mexico City airport, probably by the Krispy Kreme. I haven’t seen them in two weeks but I plan to drop to my knees and have Cozy walk to me. And then have grandma take the baby while I throw my wife onto the baggage claim belt for some seriously inappropriate PDA. That week will all be about catching up and then all of us return to the isla where I will be the first one to walk on the beach with her.

But I’m not that sad that I missed it because I got to see so many firsts when Andrea returned to work after the birth (including the first solid poop #winning). There will  be many more to come. She will have her first birthday, four weeks from today, here on the isla. We have first sentences and first eating with a spork. She had her first trip to the hospital last week (just a cold), but her first sea turtle should be pretty wild.

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I did an incredible drift-dive yesterday. A big group of us jumped off the boat in our scuba gear, raced down to the bottom and let the rapid current whip us around to the other side of the island where the sea turtles live. We were like a mob rolling into their turf. It was a first for me and I’m still buzzing from it. I hope I can give Cozy the wonderment that all the first moments nature has to offer. If the environmentalists continue their battle against the money people, she should have lots, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. The natural beauty of this island, for example, is being eroded by the tourist industry. Talk to a diver about the reefs if you don’t believe me. I want this all to be here when she is ready to suit up and see it for herself.

As a feminist, there are other firsts I fear. The first time she hears that being pretty is more important than being smart. The first time she realizes that “like a girl” is used as a put-down. The first time she learns that there are men and boys that will mentally, physically, and sexually abuse her just because she is a girl. The first time she realizes that most people think God is a “He.” All that is coming and we gotta prepare her for the bullshit as much as the wonderment.

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But for now, I’m gonna watch the video of her walking one more time and get ready to see her do it in person tomorrow in Mexico City.  Our first walk together.

Felices once meses, mi hija!

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2 thoughts on “Dad Love, Pt. 6 – First Steps

  1. So adorable! And have no fear… the “firsts” are still carrying us through and amazing us and we are almost 9! But I must say, in my opinion, the term “like a girl” is not at all a put down. Becuase only girls can give birth. In my opinion, that makes us girls badasses and to be “like a girl” is the most badass thing ever.

    Like

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