According to my son’s birth certificate, I became a father in 2010. But becoming an actual parent took longer. In fact, I think it took until last week.
When imagining what having kids will be like, we all have similar daydreams. Most of them focus on big moments: choosing a name, putting together a crib, going through labor, changing nappies, playing catch, taking off the training wheels, the first day of school, etc.
When I finally became a dad, many of those developmental milestones remained significant, but dozens – hundreds! – more piled up around small, everyday stuff. Every single first is a capital-F First: first burp, first smile, first poop, first solid poo, first roll-over, first sit-up, first crawl, first fall, first steps, first words…
After a while, and Facebook walls full of pictures, you realise that those aren’t your milestones. They’re your kid’s.