For a day in which the earth did not tremble, and the sky did not dim, it was an earth shattering event for me.
It was a day like any other day, except we had been up all night with my wife in labor. At just after four o'clock in the morning, I held my first child.
There had never before nor since been anything that had such a profound impact on me. Obviously, I knew we were going to have a child. I had been in much deep meditative thought on the gravity of my responsibility. But I did not anticipate the sudden overwhelming sense of vulnerability.
A man can live fearlessly until he has a daughter. If he remains fearless after that, he is either supernatural, or a blithering idiot.
For me, the realization that I could not protect my tiny, beautiful, fragile daughter from every danger on planet Earth was unsettling in the extreme. With the birth of each of my children, I have recaptured that sensation, but not with the same ferocity. Becoming a grandfather was a close second, except with age has come the realization that I can control very little of anything in life. Back when I was twenty-something, I had the delusion that I was invulnerable.
You may ask yourself why I am writing about an event from thirty years in the past. Well, because it was thirty years ago today, in fact, that my first daughter was born. I am not certain how three decades has eluded capture. Time slips by at seemingly increased velocity each year.
Hug your precious little ones an extra time today. Todays tend to become yesterdays in rapid succession.