On June 27, our son Milo will be turning 1 year old. This has not only been a crazy, whirlwind year, but this has been the most incredible year of our lives.
Milo was born right in the middle of World Pride; a time of year that represents love, strength, courage, diversity and acceptance for so many. The picture of Milo’s birth went viral around the world, we did numerous news interviews, so much love and support was shown from family, friends and strangers. There is no other way that Frank and I would have wanted to bring our little “Bubbaloo” into this world. He made quite the entrance!
Bringing home a brand-new baby is scary for anyone. We were anxious, nervous, scared, excited, but what do we do with a little baby especially if we have never done this before! Our dad instincts quickly came into play, we asked many questions to our parents, friends and family and we found our groove. This post is about what we learned in our first year being dads. Hope you enjoy it!
With age comes wisdom
We hope... The older I get, the more I realize that it’s not about me anymore, but it’s about us. We are a family now, and all our decisions have to make sure Milo is included, and he can join in whatever we have planned.
It takes a village to raise a child
We are really fortunate that Frank’s family lives here in Toronto and that Milo can have sleepovers at Bubby and Zaida’s house so we can have date nights. It is important to have time for us, and it gives Milo the opportunity to bond with his grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.
Babies bring out the best in people
Since becoming a dad, I would like to say that Milo has brought my family closer together. My coming out was not an easy thing for my family to accept. Getting married was not easy on them either. Then announcing we were having a baby was not all cherries and ice cream either. Once Milo arrived, my parents, my sisters in Niagara, my extended family in the USA, overseas, friends and Frank’s family have been very supportive. Even though our little “Bubbaloo” has brought so much joy and happiness into everyone’s lives, I still have one sister here in Toronto that will not acknowledge Milo’s existence, or mine and Frank’s for that matter. And that’s okay. Does it hurt? It absolutely does. Eventually I believe she will come around. How long will it take? I wish I had that answer. But she is my sister and I still love her.
Patience is a virtue?
I’d like to apologize to my parents for being a brat, being difficult and for giving them a hard time on anything. Even though I was a perfect child (unbeknownst to my sisters), I now understand the patience they have had to raise the four of us! Try telling an 11-month-old to sit still while trying to dress him or change his diaper! You need patience as a parent and a lot of it!
Time (does not) go by so slowly for those who wait
My mom would always say, “Wait until you get older, time goes by so quick!” I never understood what this meant because the time passes the same for everyone. But boy was she right! I cannot believe how fast time goes as we get older. You document every milestone with those of the child. Milo sat up at 6 weeks, Milo rolled over at 14 weeks, Milo got his first tooth at 6 months… It’s all about counting time. Little do we realize this time slips by us and before we know it he will be starting school, graduating, we will be retiring and become grandparents. Cherish the moments now.
I am free between naps
Gone are the days for lunching with friends or going out for a drink when you want. We are now on Milo’s schedule. We need to plan weeks in advance for play dates, schedule appointments during the time he is awake, sometimes only one of us can go out while the other one stays home to be with him. We are in and out of stores and there is no more taking our time. Would I change this? Absolutely not!
Stop and smell the hydrangeas (I absolutely loathe hydrangeas)
Having a child opens your eyes to the little things in life. Going out for walks, Milo would want to stop and look at the flowers along side the sidewalk. Things we don’t notice. He is obsessed with buses. A school bus or City bus drives by and it is like the world stops and he screams with excitement. We should stop and notice the little things, for these make up the big picture in life!
Blasé, laissez Faire, flazéda
What have you, don’t take life too serious. Try to be calm, relaxed and easygoing. We are this way with Milo and he seems to be thriving. We trust our instincts and things are all right. It is not worth stressing out about things. The universe works in mysterious ways and things always work out.
"All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up."
It’s important to take lots of pictures and video. Document those special moments, and look back on them and remember all the happy times! There are nights Frank and I watch videos of Milo when he was just days old. We remember how easy those days were (even though we thought they were the hardest!). Love every stage of your baby’s development. Each one is great, but the next stage seems to get even better.
Smile and be polite
A lot of people have a lot of opinions, and they are not afraid to share them. Just nod and say thank you. I know people are trying to be nice and help, but you feel you always know what is best for your child.
The Freshmen Fifteen
Ok, I have not gained 15 lbs but going to the gym on a regular basis is put on the backburner. It’s a good thing “The Dad Body Is The Body All Men Should Strive For” according to BuzzFeed this year. But it is important to find some “Me” time and take care of yourself. Another body change is my hair is turning grey! Apparently with age also comes grey hair! But I embrace and own it. We have to rock it for all it’s worth. Salt and pepper is sexy!
Big Brother (or Sister) is watching
One day we are feeding Milo lunch at a food court in a mall, a woman comes up to us and says we are an inspiration to her. We were taken aback by this, but she tells us her son is gay and one day hopes that he has what we have. We are just being ourselves. It brought us both to tears after she left that a) she had the courage to come up to us to tell us this, and b) that we inspire others just simply being who we are.
Love makes the world go round
I love seeing Frank play and take care of Milo. Having a child makes you grow stronger, become more loving, become unafraid of things, and it opens up your eyes in seeing the world like you never did before. Watching Frank nurture makes me fall in love with him more and more each day.
Becoming a father has been the best decision that Frank and I have ever made. It took me a while to come around and say, “Let’s do it!” but now I can’t imagine life without our little man. Whether you are straight, gay, bi, trans, married, or single and you are reading this and want to have kids, all I have to say is do it. You somehow find the way to make life work, and this hectic life is now your new normal. The amount of love that you have for child will blow your mind.