LET HER LEARN

I'm regularly amazed at how often folks comment on Margot's spry little self. Quips like, "She's so tiny but she sure is agile!" And while I suppose it's possible she is just plain gifted and has a future as an Olympian, I think the actual reason she's so spry and daring and coordinated and just plain sharp is -- I let her learn. And so does her mamma. What that means is -- she's given the room to explore, get bumps and bruises, and get dirt under her tiny perfect fingernails. It's actually an amazing thing to watch, and it's teaching her not only about the world around her, but teaching ME so much about myself too. It's a regular reminder that the only way I'll learn is by risking failure. Risking falling flat on my face every now and then. And that typically it happens right at the moment when I'd least expect it. It's a reminder that we're all incredibly vulnerable, and we all need someone to pick us up and dust us off and remind us we're immensely loved and it'll be okay and we'll get it next time. 

I plan to continue letting her learn. Because the only other option doesn't lead to a life of fullness and exploration. And really who wants a life without those things?

THEN SHE HUGGED ME

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I used to call her the tiny terrorist. Because when I found out I was going to be a father, it meant that my life was about to be overtaken and interrupted by someone who was uninvited. It meant I wasn't going to get to hop on a plane to Iceland, and then hop another plane to Nepal. Because that's when Margot Eloise Pringle was going to make her grand appearance. And when she was born, there was nothing that could have prepared my heart for the hijacking that was about to take place. You see -- I was the guy who wasn't kid averse. (I'm the oldest of six! I've been around kids my whole life.) It's more just that I had a comfortable lifestyle that would be inhibited if a tiny human came in to the picture. But the interesting thing about it is, once that tiny human arrived, and now that she's old enough to throw her sweet little arms around my neck and squeal "daddy!", it's all worth it. Here are a few lessons I've learned from being a father thus far:

1 - Your life doesn't end, it grows more rich and meaningful. // It's true. It's cliche, but screw it. It's true. Life takes on a whole new perspective and there's a care and an empathy that one develops when they have the responsibility to now see everything through not just their own lens, but the lens of such an innocent soul. I think it's because you now have to actually take time to explain and engage with the world around you on their behalf, when before, I was too busy and distracted to often see what was right in front of me.

2 - Your activities don't have to cease. // You can still be you. Do you love hiking? Cool. You can still hike. Do you enjoy traveling? Cool. Go do it. It's really not as complicated as it's made out to be. Sure, it requires more forethought and planning. But a little one does NOT necessarily mean you no longer get to enjoy the things you love.

3 - It teaches you about sacrifice -- and that's a good thing. // There is nothing more freeing than learning what matters. A child does mean that your finances are re-prioritized, and how you spend your energy shifts. The amazing realization that happens inside of that -- if you let it -- is that there is incredible freedom found in not being bound to the things you once thought you were bound to. 

Margot is still a tiny one. There's a long road ahead. But I can say from the deepest parts of my bones that I'd have it no other way.