One Year Later: I’m Thankful For …

As we sat around the table last night and did the annual “This is what I’m thankful for …” share fest that is typical of most Thanksgiving’s, I thought back to this post that I wrote a year ago at this time as we prepared to bring our daughter into the world.

I thought it would be nice to look over the 10 reasons I was thankful when my wife was pregnant and see, one year later, if they were still the same. My 2013 comments are in bold.

Here’s 10 things, in no particular order, that I’m thankful for as we approach the third trimester (Thri-mester?)

1. We live in one of the best spots in the United States, not to mention the world. Southern California has so much to offer – from beaches and mountains to so many different cultures and people, which means different types of wonderful food and drinks to enjoy. Our kid is going to be cultured and will have everything right at her fingertips because we live here. Despite all of its warts, I would rather live in Southern California than anywhere else in the U.S.

Yes, I still absolutely believe this. No matter where our lives take us, I will always feel that Southern California is the best place to live in the United States.

2. We both have jobs. We are both educated. We both strive for great things in our personal and professional lives. I hope to instill that in our daughter.

This is one of the things I am most proud of. It might seem small to some people, but it’s something I think a lot of people take for granted. It’s something I am grateful for almost every day.

3. We couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of family and friends. She will have a support group that not many newborns ever will.

Still true. Thank you to everyone who has been by our sides during this new adventure!

4. Suzanne and I are both beyond thrilled to be having this child. You won’t see us dancing on Maury to celebrate not having a child. (Although, this “You are NOT the father!” compilation is equal parts awesome and sad.)

And now that we have this child, we are both beyond ecstatic to be parents. Sure, there have been some bumps in the road, but that’s life. It’s how you take the hiccups and turn them into something successful.

5. YouTube. I’m thankful that I can simply show my daughter something great from my past rather than explain it to her. Kind of like this clip of awesome. Or like when I explain how good Magic Johnson was at basketball, or what her daddy sounded like when he broadcasted a game or how funny he looked in college.

While I love explaining things to people and seeing that proverbial lightbulb go on, I am a visual learner. So this makes for a nice supplement.

6. We have been married five years and together for eight. We have been through the ups and downs of our relationship together and solely together to make it stronger without having a child interfering with any of our decisions. We’re ready, our relationship is ready, and our family is ready to grow.

I just wrote about this a few weeks ago as we celebrated our anniversary. Still 100% true.

7. I’m thankful we have a black President and a female Secretary of State. This way, when I tell her she can be anything she wants to be, she can’t say “But Daddy, I’m not a rich white man so I can’t lead our country.”

Despite your political beliefs, this is still true. While Hilary Clinton is no longer Secretary of State, she is one of the strong female role models I would like to show off to my daughter as she gets older and tell her that, yes, women can be successful. It may sometimes seem like a man’s world, but go ahead and be your own little asskicker.

8. That Suzanne and I both enjoy so many different things with each other and independently of each other. Suzanne can get our kid interested in Harry Potter and Sci-Fi, while I can show her what Chevy Chase and Eddie Murphy were like when they were funny. I can explain the infield fly rule and why you should go for the win on the road and the tie at home in a playoff football game and Suzanne can teach her how to balance a bank account. Suzanne will teach her how to enjoy smooth jazz and I can get her hooked on Led Zeppelin. She will learn to cook each of our best dishes and drink red wine with dinner like both mom and dad, then either enjoy a Scotch or whiskey, or a White Russian as an aperitif, depending on which preference we have taught her.

The differences and similarities Suzanne and I have is what we love about each other. I am excited for when our daughter is able to spend an entire day with me and learn things that only dad can teach her and vice versa.

9. We both have very strong values. This should help keep her on the straight and narrow.

If not, we’ll probably disown her.

10. That I will be challenged in raising a daughter. A son would be easy for me. As someone who is always looking for the next challenge, this will be a big one. And I’m excited about that.

So true. I mean, she hasn’t started the hard parts of testing her father (driving, shopping, boys) but it’s been an experience trying to shop for her and change her and think about the future of being a male raising a daughter.

Well, I suppose that being a perfect 10 for 10 is pretty good, considering that it’s been a year and some people can’t even keep New Year’s resolutions for more than a month (myself included). I guess maybe I was a little more prepared — in the big picture — of being ready to be a dad than I thought. Although there are still plenty of times I want to yank my hair out and scream “What have I done?!”

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