I recently had the opportunity to attend the Public Library Association’s bi-annual conference in Philadelphia, PA. It was a week long conference that gave me the chance to meet librarians from all over the country, and learn how other libraries solve problems and work to give their customers the best service and access to materials possible. And while this was a great experience, it came with one huge drawback.
I didn’t get to see my sixteen month old daughter for a whole week.
Now, I knew this would be difficult, but I think I underestimated just how much I would miss her. The first day or two weren’t that bad, as I had been away from her a couple of times in the past for a day or so, but by the time I got to days four and five, my heart was aching. The worst was going to a restaurant and seeing a little girl that was my daughter’s age, doing many of the same things she does. I would call home at night and hear her “talking” in the background, or on speaker phone and want to give her a hug or chase her around the living room like I do when I’m home.
I was missing her A LOT.
And it wasn’t just missing her that was difficult. When I finally got home I realized that she seemed taller, had more hair, and that her hands and feet seemed bigger. It doesn’t take long for changes to occur in little ones her age, and a week is a long time. Other things I missed:
-Her twelfth tooth broke through
-She now says “wiggle, wiggle” when she dances
-She has started sitting in the dog bed as if it is a couch – cute
-She also rolls around in the bed, and eventually starts to smell like a dog – not cute
-She went to her first St. Patrick’s Day Parade and acted uncharacteristically shy when she was given beads by someone in the parade
And I’m sure there were many more little things I missed too. So what I would say is to enjoy the times you have with your little ones, whether they’re here or will be soon. Before my trip, I didn’t realize how much I experience in a week with my daughter. I learned quickly.
It made me think of something my Mom said to me after my daughter arrived. She saw me playing with my daughter when she was visiting, and she said it reminded her of when I was just a year old. She said that one day she was on the floor playing with me, and she thought to herself, “It can’t get any better than this.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
Here is a book in our collection about raising toddlers aimed at Dads:
A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years – by Armin Brott