A Gay Dad Reflects On The First Year

One minute we’re getting a call to adopt a baby girl, the next minute we’re celebrating her first birthday surrounded by friends and family in an overblown production neither we nor she will remember.

Last week, we celebrated our daughter’s birthday, which sent a flood of thoughts through my mind.

"Where has the time gone? You’re growing up so fast!

Seriously. As she started crawling and walking, I found myself spending so much time keeping up with all the firsts and her new skills, such as opening cabinets and removing their contents) and keeping up with her changing eating and sleeping habits (everything they warn you about is true) that I found less time to write about being a new dad. Any parent will tell you that keeping up with a toddler is a full time job. Some days it all just catches up and you end up falling asleep on the job.

Scott asleep on the job

“Daddy is tired.”

Experienced parents tell me children will make you feel older and more tired. Count me in the experienced column already. Despite so many other parents telling us we should sleep when they do (easier said than done), we enjoyed the moments of freedom: watching TV that wasn’t Disney Junior or catching up on the neglected laundry and grocery shopping. Overall though, thankfully we had it pretty easy as she started sleeping through the night within the first month or so.

While I enjoy getting up in the morning and spending some one-on-one time feeding her and getting her ready for the day, forgive me little one, there are just some mornings where Daddy really needs a few extra minutes of sleep. Thanks for hanging out in your crib so patiently waiting for me. Someday you’ll understand Saturday mornings are for sleeping in.

“I hope I’m not one of those parents.” 

Ah yes, the grass seemed greener in the BC era (Before Child) than after. In the BC Era we’d go out and plot how we’d avoid public tantrums, taking notes while watching other couples parenting. Our kids was not going to throw things in restaurants. We weren’t going to give our kid an iPhone to appease her. She was going to be on our schedule whether she liked it or not.

The truth is: Anyone who’s “been there” will totally understand when your child throws her shoes on the floor in the middle of the store (That customer in Best Buy who found them was a life saver!) or give a knowing nod as she looks over while ordering.

Although I’m proud of my iWhiz, I hope to get my phone back soon.

“Your daddies love you so much!”

I’ve whispered this quite often, but found myself saying it more recently to her just before her birthday as I reflected on the year that was. After all the adoption hoopla dust settled, I finally started to feel like a parent and not just act like one. The Dad Fails soon led to Dad Victories, however small they may have been. To my surprise, it was a very subtle shift that I didn’t quite recognize until a few weeks ago. Because things had happened for us so quickly with her birth, our match with a birth mother and her adoption, it took some time to adjust to it all, but I know that these are the days to remember. The best is yet to come. I’m sure you’ll read about it here soon.

Posted by Scott Goldman

Scott Goldman is a NJ transplant currently raising his daughter with his husband in the Lehigh Valley. An original GWK blogger, he is An arts administrator for a NJ regional theater and grants manager for the Laurents / Hatcher Foundation

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