Category: The Squishy Files

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday

My dearest Elizabeth,

I can’t believe we’re here already. It feels like yesterday that I got to hold you for the first time.

You are growing ever more beautiful, and you’re smart – I stand amazed at how you figure out new things each day. You’re becoming your own little person, and as difficult as it is to admit you’re my little baby a little less every day, that is something incredible to behold.

As the Psalmist said, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The world has become a bit more scary in the past year, but every day good things happen as well, if you know where to look for them. This past year we’ve embarked on a grand adventure, moving to a new home with new things for you to see and do. I’m sorry for all the stress and disruption it caused you, but you did brilliantly. I’m so proud of you.

You’ve learned what it is to be hurt, tired, uncomfortable, and frightened. But I know you also know what it feels like to be loved, to be cared for, and to be safe, though you can’t name those feelings yet. You’ve learned that if you call, someone comes, and that’s much more than many people know.

You were born knowing how to cry, but you’ve since learned to laugh, something you do every day, and it’s the most beautiful sound that exists in this universe. I understand why that’s the sound the story says gives birth to fairies…

There’s a big year ahead of you. A year in which you’ll learn to walk and talk, and start to take care of yourself in little ways. You’ll learn to make choices, and with that you’ll make mistakes. It will be a while still before you’ll learn about regret, but in the coming year you’ll definitely start learning about consequences, even if you won’t quite understand them yet.

I want you to know that I’ll be there each step of the way. I won’t always do the right thing. Some days I’ll act without thinking. Some days I’ll hurt you without meaning to. But I’ll do everything I can to be there when you need me, to teach you and guide you and protect you.

This parenting thing is very much a case of making it up as you go along, but you seem happy, so I think we’re doing it right. I can only hope one day when you read this that you’ll agree with me.

Happy Birthday, my child, and good luck with the next year of your life. It’s gonna be awesome.

With all my love,

Dad

Houston, we have a tooth!

Houston, we have a tooth!

And I learned something important. Teeth release gas when they emerge. Methane, specifically. Copious amounts of the stuff. I mean, that little girl can clear a room at this stage. A ball room. I never thought I’d long for the days when the poo would stream out over my fingers in the middle of a diaper change…

But yes, over the weekend the first little incisor peeked its enamel-covered edge through those gums that have been aching and itching for weeks. We’ve only had a couple of glimpses – if we actually try to look Elizabeth clamps shut her mouth tighter than when I tried to adminiter those horrible antibiotics when she was sick. But it’s finally out, and every now and again I catch her exploring this new inhabitant of her mouth with her tongue. That’s when she’s not sticking anything else her hands can hold in her mouth.

I went to see my financial advisor today to set up a special savings account for the tooth fairy levies I’ll be obligated to start paying in about six years’ time. Six years don’t feel like that much, but what with inflation who knows what the going rate for a tooth will be in 2023? And kids have a lot of them, like over 20 or something!

The State of The Minion

The State of The Minion

A couple weeks ago our president delivered his State of the Nation address. It was sad. I’m not going to write about that.

I’ll much rather write about the State of The Minion. Squishy is called The Minion now. First, because she’s becoming less squishy every day, and second because she speaks fluent Minion. And third, I’ve decided to pursue a career in arch-villainy, and given the quality of minions available on the open market these days, one can’t start training them early enough. If she’s to inherit my evil empire one day, the sooner she starts learning the family business, the better. Haha! HaHaHa!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

What was I talking about again? Oh, yes. The Minion.

Continue reading “The State of The Minion”

I forgot to post yesterday…

…and almost forgot again today. But yesterday was acutally a very significant day and I can’t have it pass without marking it.

Yesterday a year ago two things happened that changed my life beyond imagining. I started working at Automattic, and I found out that I was going to be a dad.

It’s a bit of a tradition at Automattic to blog about working here on one’s anniversary, but that will need to stand over for a later date when I have time to do it properly. But let me just say for now that it has been one heck of a ride so far. And it’s all about the people.

The magic of WordPress does not lie in the software, but in the community that surrounds it, and inside Automattic is only a small part of that community, but a very special one. Never before have I worked with a group of people that cares so deeply both about the work that they do and about each other (and I say that as someone who at one point worked for the church).

And being a dad? Earlier this evening I was scrolling through my Facebook feed on my phone and came across this very true statement:

If parenting had a GPS, it would constantly be saying “Recalculating”

And aint that the truth!

Just when we think we’re figuring things out, Elizabeth goes and changes the tables on us. But every single moment has been worth it. Seeing her grow and develop has been such an incredible experience. She has the most joyous laugh and the sweetest little voice. And the way that she smiles when she sees me…

I’m pretty sure there isn’t much in this world I wouldn’t do for that little girl.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be writing some more on both of these soon!