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Challenge: Bringing Home Baby: What Do You Wish You’d Known?

Why I’m glad I was (mostly) clueless as a first-time dad

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I’m actually glad I didn’t know much when I carried my daughter in her little car seat through the automatic doors of the hospital and crossed the threshold into the great unknown of parenthood. It probably would have been too scary thinking about the responsibility that was about to smack me in the face.

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Sure, I assembled the Target crib and changing table, and leafed through the owner’s manual on the all-terrain stroller ahead of time, but beyond that I was pretty much winging it. The joy in this relative naivete was that every new moment was a thrill. Every stretch, every smile, every touch, every meal, every burp, every oddly-shaped head or bellybutton, and even every crinkly diaper was cause for parental celebration.

I do wish I’d known that I’d married not only a superwoman and a super-wife, but a supermom. It’s like she has preternaturally known what to do at every moment along the way -- as though the wisdom of a mother had been seeded somewhere in her long ago, and released itself when our daughter was born into the world. It’s been said a thousand times, but a man’s wife becomes exponentially more beautiful and impressive when she becomes a mother. So I guess I just wish I knew how lucky I was, and how much fun being a dad would be.

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