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Dinosaur, my Mantra

“Does a dinosaur stomp her feet on the floor and shout I want to hear one book more?”¹

Singing a song. Reading a book. Over and over and over. So much so that in unexpected moments the words form involuntarily on my lips at work, on my bike, while cutting onions. Each night we find meaning teased out in repetition completely unrelated to actual words.

“You sit on my cold feet and I’ll sit on your cold feet and you sit on my cold feet and I’ll sit on your cold feet.”

For two years and three months. And it continues. Another night, the rocking chair creaks, the bodies relax. We sit together in praise of the consistent, the repetitive, the good.

“Do not think about tomorrow. Let tomorrow come and go. Tonight you’ve got a nice warm boxcar, safe from all this wind and snow.”³

Each night we look at the same books.

Each night we sing the same songs.

Mostly we stick to the agenda with the occasional gentle deviation.

But everything is changing always. Every second there is more of her building bones, teeth, hair, skin, guts and stuff. Each and every cell needs to hear these stories, listen to these songs, learn to rock.

These tiny mantras and all of these things are necessary; for in a state of constant change, we need anchors and guideposts to carry us. Each cell added to the pile needs to be brought into line so every fiber of her being will know how a dinosaur says good night.

“Nein, das ist auch nicht meine Mami.”*

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Serious Shit

Where I’m at now…

I always thought it was an exaggeration – the way people talked about the way your life changes when you have a child. One second, you’re fine; next second, an emotional mess.

I remember the first time it happened while on parental leave. In that first month, everyone is tired, but the kid sleeps so much that you actually find yourself with a decent amount of free time – provided you occasionally get bored of staring at your child while they sleep.

I took those spare moments to pull up classic films I’d never seen – among them ‘Paris, Texas’ from Wim Wenders. I won’t bore you with a synopsis, but at one point a long-absent father tries to meet his estranged son after school.

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Holy crap

Be Here Now

vintage-bell-telephone-naked-baby-ad5Since the spaceship landed, parenthood has rendered me little more than a twitching fatherly fiber. I currently have 10 drafts – one for each month since our time traveler joined us – just a few words when my mind has a chance to clear before something new knocks my head off.

And then it’s all out of date.

In becoming a father, I was certain that I would churn out chronicles of experience as steady as a stream of conscious. Hilarious observations, delightful learnings, dangerous debacles, and a fountain of love.

But up until now I’ve uttered nary a peep.

Every single day there are roughly 353,000 children born. Parenthood is as common as you can get, it’s as natural as going to the bathroom in the morning after that first cup of coffee.  Continue reading

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