It’s been 3 years since I last wrote one of these Reflections. Since then I’ve continued therapy with Ann and come a long way in my understanding of myself. I feel that I’m a much stronger person for it. I also feel that my relationship with Judy was in many ways saved because of the therapy.
In fact, 5 and a half weeks ago Judy and I had a baby girl we named Helen Marie. It was a frightening time, but not devastatingly so; just frightening in the sense that Helen’s birth meant being deeply responsible for the life of another human being.
She’s beautiful. Everyone says she looks like me, but I see so much of Judy in her. Her eyes, and the way she looks around observing, the way she sleeps and sighs. I love holding her and kissing her little hands and cheeks. Even when she needs a diaper change or is crying non-stop, I can’t stop thinking about being a good father to her and taking care of her.
Of course, at times negative thoughts creep back in – “what if” thoughts. I just tell myself that all I can do is be a good father and help guide her safely through her life. I can’t control her, her life, or the world around her. Bad things will happen to her – as they happen to all of us – but hopefully nothing so bad that she won’t be able to recover and grow into a beautiful, loving adult with strong relationships to help support her in life when she needs support, and the strength and determination to achieve whatever she wants to achieve.
It was cloudy, gray, and raining almost non-stop the past week. I didn’t mind. I liked it. We needed the rain. I didn’t feel down or upset or worried. It was a nice change from how I’ve felt in the past. I kept thinking “I hope Helen enjoys rain and thunderstorms when she gets older.”
There’s so much to teach her, and I hope that one of the things I can teach her is that she can depend on me to be there for her and to love her no matter what. I hope that I can teach her to be a loving, happy person. I hope that I can teach her the importance of being a good person, but not so good that people try to take advantage of you. I hope I can teacher her confidence and self-trust.
She deserves that, like every child does, and now that I know how it feels to have those things, I think I’ll be able to show her much better than I could have in the past.