Year 01 | Week 08

Dear Kaylee,

This weekend, up at her house in southern Maine, your Grammie Julee organized a welcoming ceremony for you. It’s purpose was to introduce you both to the Bahai faith (the religion your mother was raised in) and to your extended family (on that side of the family, at least). It was a beautiful, moving ceremony that even your atheist father was able to enjoy most of. And the gathering afterwards offered many members of your mother’s side of the family their first opportunity to meet you. But it was actually the events of today, Tuesday, which struck me as the most profound of the week. You see, today was the first day of a brand new work schedule for me, a work schedule which would allow me to spend every other day at home with you.

One of the most moving parts of Saturday afternoon’s ceremony involved the reading of several passages by your family members. The passages they read each had to do with a specific value that we wished to impart to you. And upon finishing their reading, each family member was then asked to whisper to you the word they’d just been defining, and then to speak your name. I was holding you during this part of the ceremony and, because it was easier than me standing in one place, I carried you to each speaker in turn. As I stood and listened to each of them, I found myself nodding along, in my mind if not on the outside. These were all values or attributes I wished you to possess. And I knew that it would be my responsibility, mine and your mother’s, to teach you these things.

Which is why today was so special. I had expressed to my boss, in the weeks preceding your birth, my desire to spend part of each week at home. There were financial issues involved—your mother and I could not afford five days worth of day care, for instance—but my chief concern was that, with my long hours, and my long commute, I would be missing out on a great portion of your life. When my boss did everything in his power to accomodate my wishes, when he helped me set up a schedule which would allow me to be home with you twice a week, I knew that things would be different. But I had no idea, until today, how special this change would be.

Today I read to you, and I fed you, and I carried you around the house so that you could look at everything we passed with your big, inquisitive eyes. We played on your playmat, danced to the 80s music, and we successfully made it through the atomic poop you let loose during lunch. These were my first hours spent totally alone with you (your mom was away, prepping for her new job) and I cherished every minute of them.

So, while I enjoyed the welcoming ceremony and the afternoon trip we took to see your honorary Auntie Tori and Uncle Dan the next day, it was today, our day alone together, which truly made this week special for me.

Love, Dad