One couldn't have experienced more beautiful Easter weather in southwest Ohio this year if you had gone into a restaurant and ordered "sunny" off the menu. Gorgeous, gorgeous day with temperatures rising into the mid-70s. This was our first Easter with Aster and I'll cherish it always. It was just a fun, relaxing family-filled day. We took Aster to church in the morning. I think she enjoyed soaking in the surroundings: the choir, the musicians, the Easter lilies, and spit-and-polished people. Church is generally a lot less formal these days but that is a topic for another time. After church the whole rest of the day was spent with my family and Rachel's. Good food, family, faith, and fun, definitely a great day. By the time we got to Rachel's Mom's house late in the day Aster was in sore need of a nap, so she fell asleep in one of her favorite spots: on my shoulder. Where she stayed for almost two hours. So I just sat in a comfy chair on the back deck surrounded by woods and the setting sun and enjoyed having her sleep on my shoulder while watching the woods go aflame in the purple and pink of twilight.
Being a parent for the first time at age 41 does change you, but maybe not in the way I thought, or how I thought or as fast I thought. And granted this is just my opinion. But having a baby when you are 22 or 23 would seem to be a very different experience than having one at my age. In some ways you're still a baby yourself in your 20s (in retrospect) and you have to grow up with the child. And at age 22,23, 25, you're naturally more flexible, like soil to the baby's water. By my age you've become set in your ways. I had 40 years on my own, 40 years to probably become a little too self-centered. A person (at least this person) is a bit ossified and calcified by my age. So change comes slower, but I do find myself changing. Aster's needs are my needs. There are still days, fewer and far between, but Easter was one of them, where I find myself saying "she's really mine, Rachel and I made her and she'll be in our lives forever." It's perhaps a more awe-filled feeling at 41 than in the roll-with-the-punches 20s.
This is Rachel, Aster, and I together yesterday on our first Easter.I love the dress Aster is wearing. Lovina made it and when we first got it we thought it would take her 2 years to grow into. But it fit her just great now. The Amish-style dress will also serve as a special memento of a special family and some genuinely good memories. The ebb and flow of life is odd and my college degree in philosophy was to help me understand life. But I still don't. I do, however, find myself settling into the role of Dad and thoroughly enjoying it. Aster is the name of a beautiful flower that blossoms during the autumn. There's something poetic and poignant in the cycle of life and its perennial schedule. I'm enjoying this journey so far.