Friday, June 10, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Exactly one year ago, I found myself in the most terrifying situation imaginable.

Only 9 hours after my daughter Olivia- my first born- had come into the world, I'd lost her.

Or so I was convinced. As my labor-battered wife slept in her bed, and I on a bed-like bench device (it didn't matter; there are moments of exhaustion when one can sleep anywhere), our swaddled little 7 lb., 7 oz. hot potato started to cough. In a trance-like state, I arose and began to gently pat her on the back, being ever-so careful as not to damage this helpless and completely dependent little human. My little human.

At that moment, the nurse rushed into the room ("thank God," I thought. "I don't know what to do with these things yet."), snatched my hacking child from my arms, and all but banged her against the wall to remove what was residual amniotic fluid from her lungs. The deliberate action of the nurse convinced me: I'd killed her. Nine hours into parenthood, and I'd already failed. Miserably. Like, "manslaughter" miserably. A fear; an unbelievably panicked and devastating feeling rushed through my exhausted frame.

"It's no big deal," the nurse calmly stated, clearly running a drill she'd done a thousand times in the presence of confused, terrified, utterly-shellshocked new parents. "She's fine. Go back to bed."

An impossibly huge exhale. Then a smirk. It was a revelation. My precious daughter was more durable than I had thought. She wasn't going to leave this weird and wonderful new world. And, without knowing it, she reassured her new father that- yes- he could do this, and maybe even succeed at it.

365 days later. Life is different, but not that different. Involvement in the wine community is more difficult. Blogging is definitely tougher. But, like that little 9-hour-old who had no plans of wimping out, a parent adapts, and still continues life. Sure, I used to put posts out at 10 PM. So what? They go out at... uh, it's 2:15 AM now. Dammit.

But I can't say I'd change anything. Sure, there's no sleeping in the weekends. Yeah, a night of overindulgence- previously remedied by laying on the couch all day and eating Chinese food- is followed by the actions of any other day: being a parent and caring for a child. Let's just say, an evening of copious wine tasting doubles as an evening of water tasting. A parent adapts. And when even the groggiest papa walks into the nursery, and he sees that smiling, excited face peeking back at him from between the slats of the crib, not even the strongest pain medicine can bring more comfort and delight.

As year two of parenthood unfolds, I fully intend to keep writing, despite the significant constraints on time, and a newfound and persistent sleepiness. Why? First off, because I do love it. And secondly, somehow, some way, I know that this will lead to the best possible life for my family (which has nothing to do with the money made through a blog. Volunteer work pays better). However, there are surely some opportunities out there. And, though this little 3-year-old experiment, I've built a network of wonderful people in the food and wine industry, many of whom I would consider good friends at this point.

To all of you, I thank you for your patience with me, and with the inconsistent nature of the blog this past year (hell, it was always inconsistent). I sincerely appreciate your support, your comments, your feedback, and- most of all- your friendship.

Now excuse me while I go wash those damn bottles. And is that poop on my shirt?


Nope. It's strained peas.

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