BENZ: Becoming Dad

I celebrated my first Father’s Day this year. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was just Cole. It was one year ago Wednesday, I went from being Cole, to being Dad.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.com

I celebrated my first Father’s Day this year. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was just Cole. It was one year ago Wednesday, I went from being Cole, to being Dad.

On June 29, 2016, my daughter will celebrate her first birthday.

Me (RGB)I wasn’t quite sure how to start this because quite frankly, this happened really quick. The past 12 months have gone by so fast, that it still feels like it was just this past Christmas we were telling our families about the good news; when in reality that happened during Christmas of 2014.

I have watched my daughter go from wiggling around the carpet, to taking her first steps. I have watched our dog go from excited, to times of down-right depression due in part to the sudden drop in attention—sorry Cooper, we still love you!

When you’re about to become a parent, you’re always told that ‘your life will never be the same.’ Even though it reigns true, that is about as cliche’ as it gets. But people don’t tell you about the small details in life that get rearranged.

For instance, the toilet paper can no longer be attached to the roll on the wall; it’s on the back of the toilet, out of my daughter’s reach. The cleaning supplies below the sink have been relocated. All of the doors in our home are now shut at all times, and all of the outlets have little caps on them. And the poor dog’s food and water dishes now reside outside so he can eat in peace—again…sorry Cooper, we still love you!

Watching my daughter discover the world has been enlightening. I know her little world pretty much consists of our house, daycare, and the houses of relatives. But things as simple as blowing bubbles can leave her mesmerized. It’s that innocence and shine in her eyes when she sees something for the first time that I marvel at. It’s a tremendous treat to see her gaze over the simplest of things right now, before the youth inside her starts to dissipate, and the most spectacular things start to become mundane.

My first born, Collins Carol Benz, has blessed me and my wife in so many ways already. But I hope that we have blessed her too, with a good set parents. And as much as she is learning about the world, we’re learning about parenthood. We’ve made good choices in life, and we both possess a responsible set of values. We have life lessons that have been passed down to us by our elders that we can pass on to her. If she has questions, we’ll answer them. If she missteps, we’ll help her get back on the right path.

I’m not trying to make child rearing out to be an easy task—I’m not that naive—but all my wife and I can do is go day by day and pull from our own experiences.

The last 366 days have been a great ride. And though it may not always be smooth, I’m giddy with anticipation to see where the path takes us.

Happy birthday Collins.

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