Lessons From Year Two

An Untrained Dad's Observations

My son Carter turns 2 today and it’s caused me to look back over the past two years and reflect on how things have changed in me and in my family. Here is what I’ve learned:


Colic is real.

Carter wasn’t big on sleep for the first six months of his life and did seem to enjoy screaming a good bit. Turns out he was a “colicky” baby. That meant that he hated to be horizontal. One pediatrician explained it as suffering heartburn constantly, which I guess would make me scream too. I’m glad she told us that, because I had begun to look for his receipt so we could send him back and get a baby that wasn’t broken. For those parents who haven’t experienced colic, the rest of us don’t really want to hear about how good a sleeper your baby is. It’s like someone telling a Vietnam Vet how delicious they think Vietnamese food is. It’s not relevant and a bit annoying. For those parents with a colicy baby, hang in there. I understand that panic stricken, exhausted look on your face. I promise, things will get better.


Things Change Fast.

The development of babies is an incredible thing to watch. Words, first steps, first solid foods, all of these changes seem to come over night. Every day is something new. There’s not a lot of time to get nostalgic, because each new advance brings new things to enjoy and new things to stress about. “Why does he keep trying to put things in his ears?!”


Be Patient Because Beginnings Matter.

Observing Carter’s need for security, his fears, and his joys has reminded me that we all started life in this fragile condition. That means that some of those messed up adults you know may have been wounded in those fragile years through no fault of their own. Be patient with others. Life isn’t always easy and things are often more complicated than they appear.

Happy Birthday Carter! Here’s hoping that your obsession with Elmo is short lived, but that your obsession with yard work lasts long into your teenage years. Your family loves you.

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