Scott Hanselman

Fatherhood - Part 1

December 6, '05 Comments [23] Posted in Parenting | Z
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I'm overwhelmed. The idea that we'd be put in charge of this little man without so much as a license or registration is beyond me. Z changes everything.

We took birthing classes, breast-feeding classes (Mo's better than I at this particular skill), and read voraciously. I was at every pre-natal exam; how could I not?

The baby doctor told me that he'd delivered some babies to married couples where he literally met the father on the day of delivery. There may be some folks who study harder for their MCSE. I feel as if I've been prepping for this my whole life. As if my first 32 years are prepare for his first 32. I know I crammed in these last nine months and I'm totally prepared to be completely unprepared.

If I known it'd be so important, so weighty, so powerful, I'd have studied harder in High School. I'd have exercised more, eaten better, drank less soda.

It's more than cuteness. Everyone thinks their baby is the cutest baby in the world (which mine is, of course.) But it's the implicit trust.

This little guy didn't choose us. Choosing us was the most important and effectual decision that he never made. He has no reason to trust us other than he has no reason not to. We accept the immense weight of that trust with open arms.

He cries, and he's fed. Everyone deserves to count on that simple contract. I am overwhelmed at the responsibility, but I know we've got this.

- saZ (father of Z)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:03:43 PM UTC
Congratulations! I am a proud dad two times over (my newest, youngest is 7 months) so I know how you feel. Enjoy every moment 'cos they change every day, hour, minute, second ... As everyone will tell you they grow up much too quickly.
Anyone can see you are going to be the "bestest" dad ever. All the best mate!
subbu
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:23:53 PM UTC
Great News ! Congratulations ! Enjoy the wonderful times !!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:54:24 PM UTC
Welcome to the Parenthood Ride! The first few weeks are overwhelming, the remaining years even more so -- but Oh! what rewards come with it!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 1:05:04 PM UTC
I was moved by the eloquence of your devotion to Z and Mo. As I father of 2, I too went through the same emotions of joy, fear, humbling, etc, but was never able to put those feelings to paper.

Thank you for vocalizing what I have felt for the last 5 years; I sent this on to my wife because it is so perfect.

Enjoy.
Shawn
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 1:16:24 PM UTC
Well put. They do grow up fast so be sure to enjoy every waking moment - don't worry there will be plenty of those in the first few months. A piece of advice from my father that I'll pass along is "don't worry, they're not as fragile as you think". (It takes a while for that one to sink in - at least for me it did.)

Best wishes to Mo & Zo.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 2:11:48 PM UTC
Fatherhood is the most intimidating thing I've ever experienced. How am I supposed to teach this trusting little boy how to be a loving, caring man, when I feel as though *I* don't know what I'm doing, yet?

David's advice is golden, especially if you're raising a boy. Dads do stupid things - that's why we're so much fun.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:16:40 PM UTC
You need sleep.
Scott
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:30:07 PM UTC
Congratulations Scott! Yep, I remember those first few night at home. I remember thinking "they let us bring this kid home alone!?" Funny how things work but God has given us the instinct to be parents...we've just got to choose to follow it. Sounds like you guys are on the right track. Congratulations!!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:49:53 PM UTC
Great post, you are in for a great adventure. I felt much the same feelings when my sone was born. Here's what I wrote at the time, not the same but along the same lines.

http://www.backbyrner.com/blogs/gonzo/2000/12/18/SoLikeIWasSaying.aspx

g
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:50:47 PM UTC
I have something that has been hanging in my office since we brought my son home.

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
Sigmund Freud

Without question the most difficult, challenging, frustrating, maddening, scary responsibility you will ever have. And you will not want to give it up for the world.
Enjoy.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 4:37:13 PM UTC
You inspired me to go back and read some of my own journal pages from five years ago when our own first was born - like http://www.larkfarm.com/journal/2000/August/08202000.htm . I keep that stuff to the non-technical site, but even so, kids are life-changing. And way more important than computers. You're a fine member of the Dads club.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 6:18:23 PM UTC
It's lovely, and exhausting, and exasperating, and beautiful. I have two (30 months and 11 months) and before the first one I went through the same process you describe - reading lots of books, approaching it as if I was trying to learn about design patterns or the ASP.NET provider model. Sometimes they were very useful. But if I learned one thing it's to trust your instincts. Writing code is an activity that's quite a few layers of abstraction up the stack, whereas bringing up babies is right there in the hardware. Best wishes!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:09:59 PM UTC
Scott, it never gets easy, and they are always your little man even when they get to be 25 like my son! I am glad the next generation of the Dad's club is so well represented!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:29:30 PM UTC
"If I known it'd be so important, so weighty, so powerful, I'd have studied harder in High School."

Remember cheating off each other in Personal Finance? Good times!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 8:58:24 PM UTC
Congrats. Its an awesome time. Its true its never easy even when you think it is, but what a reward.
Kevin
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 9:20:55 PM UTC
I felt the same sense of responsibility when I had my son 9 years ago...
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 1:06:58 AM UTC
Congrats Scott & Mo! Welcome to parenthood, now the fun really begins.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 1:47:56 AM UTC
That's great Scott. I became so enamored of my fatherhood that I even started another blog to address the subject specifically. ;-) www.thdad.com
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 3:45:01 AM UTC
Scott I think you just scared me out of fatherhood, just kidding! :)

I plan on having some little tyrants running around eventually, seems like alot of work and responsability but I think it would be fun. Afterall look at what you created, its a little miracle...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 3:56:03 AM UTC
Wow... looking at the other commenters, I'm thinking "damn, I'm actually one of those people now." My son is just over 10mo. The first few months were cute, but what you expect. Wait until months 4-6 when he stats watching you and smiling back at you. Then, just wait until month 10... where tonight covering him up with my dress shirt and watch him flip out when he heard his mom get home, come in, and lift the shirt to say hi. Then we ran around the house playing hide and seek. Yup, you turn into an idiot... but there are aparently many idiots like me (as I thought they were idiots when I looked at them)! Belated congrats!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 10:37:23 AM UTC
Isn't it just a profoundly moving experience...

The more interactive they get the more fun it becomes.

Before I left for work this morning, I taught my 16 month old daughter how to do 'Eskimo Kisses' (rubbing noses together). She now rubs noses and laughs every time I say 'eskimo'. My day is all set before it's even started...

Enjoy..
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 3:20:05 PM UTC
Congrats Scott!

I have a 3 yr old and had the same exact thoughts when he arrived. I read a book called "Do I Look Like a Daddy To You?" that was a little cheesy, but pretty good. Had a lot of good info on the first 6 months or so. MIght be a little late to start it now (you're probably exhausted) but if you're a fast reader...
Sunday, December 18, 2005 5:59:32 AM UTC
Congratulations Scott. We have a daughter on the way... 5 weeks to go (www.isabellaflores.com). I'll stayed tuned to your future posts in lieu of a baby manual ;)

best to you and your growing family,
Daniel
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.