Tired and Balding

It’s after 8 on Wednesday morning, and I’m exhausted. Being a father is a wonderful, hard thing, and it really is one of those things that you learn "by doing," with generous input from those who have modeled fatherhood, for good or ill, in our lives. Today, though, I’m feeling fairly spent. Samuel doesn’t sleep through the night, though he’s certainly getting better, and I am a light sleeper; so if I’m up to tend to him, I’m not always able or inclined to just go back to sleep. Kirsten and I try to split the duties as much as possible, but when she’s working the next day and I’m not, it only seems right for me to handle things alone, though I struggle with this mightily by the early morning and get pretty cranky.

My son is beautiful and amazing and I’m so glad to be his father, but it of course scares me too. Often, I’m simply afraid of hurting him. Though I know how resilient and strong he is, he still seems so fragile at times, and I fear injuring him inadvertently. Worse, given my abusive upbringing and the way that woundedness impacts me today, I likewise fear those moments when I’m sleep-deprived and my patience is at an end. Samuel is a great, wonderful boy, but he usually wants to be held- all the time (and who can blame him, given what he’s been through), and sometimes I simply can’t because I’m home alone and have to do something else, or it’s 4 in the morning and I’m so tired I fear dropping him if I hold him, etc. What’s more, he has certainly learned how to use his lungs, which again after being on the ventilator so long we’re exceedingly grateful for, but even his wonderful cries do began to wear on me. I still know so little, and love so imperfectly.

In recent pictures and in the mirror I’m noticing more and more how much my hair is thinning in front. Of course, I turn 30 on Tuesday and feel much older; so I guess it only makes sense, but I sort of feel like my scalp is indicative of me- on the decline….I know that’s "just a feeling" and I’m always so quick to say that feeling aren’t generally very accurate guides to external reality; they’re more like clues to an internal mystery- one that must be tended to. Still, I certainly feel that way- on the decline, today, and I have a number of external indicators of this, to boot, all having to do with all the change in my life that has come over the past six months.

Samuel gets kissed a lot, because Kirsten and I both love him and he’s simply adorable. In the pics below, though, Kirsten caught him not being so into it, though deep down I know he loves it. In the one on the right you can see that hair loss I’m talking about.

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