Sacrifice

Arguably, the fiercest, most acute and intense enterprise you can enter to learn selflessness, patience and justice is marriage and parenthood. It is in the interactions with my wife and daughter that I disclose what makes me happy and what makes me sad, what makes me angry and what makes me glad.

If they two taught me anything thus far, it is this. The world is scarcely a place where one’s needs, desires and intentions are met to the fullest. One must always be prepared to sacrifice.

Often sacrifice is considered to permeate the weak and cowardly. Because, one may consider, would not compromise suffice? I uphold, however, that it takes courage and strength to give up what, at the moment, seems dear. It is only natural, if the result of one’s giving up is greater than of maintaining one’s stand. On the contrary, it is far more difficult, yet far more noble, to sacrifice, when your gain is out of sight or the possibility of your recompense is minimal, if any.

Jim Elliot (1927–1956), a young missionary in Ecuador stands for one of my most favourite quotes. In his journal, Elliot once paraphrased Philip Henry (1631–1696), when he wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

“Look, papa, I’m running!”

The phrase caught me off guard. With its ingenuousness and perfect satisfaction with the moment.

The world is new to my daughter and she’s learning to put the puzzle pieces together. She is naïve. She believes what I tell her. My daughter is honest, loving and caring. She is eager to share her joy with the world.

My daughter knows what being a good father is more than I can comprehend. She can’t articulate her insight, but she knows. And she teaches me. Daily.

Finding joy in the little things is one of the lessons. Why is it so hard to learn it?

Sunshine after rain

We usually deem sunshine after rain as a pleasant reminder that things eventually get better; it’s like a promise of a new beginning.

When I’m stuck in the quagmire of self-absorption or crushed by the burdens of social exhaustion, I get reminded of the ray of light playing joyfully and enticing me to embrace her warmth.

The heavy drops of downpour dry up in an instant, and the cheerful beaming light giggles and hugs and kisses and calls out, “Papa, I love you!” in the manner that only we two understand.

Why sunshine is good for your newborn

After 22 days of being a father, it’s become clear to me what my daughter likes the most, when she has a bit of stomach ache. As most genius things that occur to me, this one dawned on me by accident.

This morning, as was planning to write a very important e-mail, she got a bit anxious about something. I placed her by my side on the sofa on her side. The sun shone on the back of her head and her back and she became silent in an instant and fell asleep. I don’t know if this is going to work every time (probably not), but I am done with the e-mail I had to write, so I am happy for now.

So, sunshine does not only provide some vitamin D to??your precious offspring, but also comfort. Cheap and easy!??It is exciting being a father. You learn a lot.

Disclaimer: Prior to my exploration of the perfect remedy for my daughter’s anxiousness, she got some food, her diaper (nappy) changed and a bit of cuddling.

The countdown has begun

In exactly 21 days, Armine and I are expecting something huge to happens to us. A new person will see the light of this world. And this person is going to be our first-born child.

One of my colleagues has drawn this countdown helper for me. It says, “Soon, your life will become different and totally amazing. Good luck!” in Swedish. Every day, I will tear a piece representing one day to move closer to the big day.

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We’ve been waiting for you, baby. We are ready. Welcome to this world!