May 5, 2007

The Crystal Meth of New Fatherhood... watching your daughter's reflexive smiles as she slowly wakes up, eyeballs fluttering, regains consciousness in stages, and embarks on a brand new day. These minor scenes -- repeated hundreds of millions of times the world over every morning -- are enough to make even a confirmed cynic like me feel an innocent’s unblinking delight in all the new scenes encountered in a new day. Complementing this innate satisfaction is the sensation of weightier concerns, like global warming, genocide and omnipresent general nastiness, receding to a dim hum in the background as a result of my groggy little Lady E.'s smile.

Rhetorical question: if this is one of the intoxicants of parenting, why doesn't it render people incapable of doing shitty things to others, even temporarily? I feel like Bill Bixby when I transform from an aggressive imperialist carnivore to an idealistic utopian striver in the space of a few seconds under the gaze of my rising daughter.

The effect does fade and I inevitably revert to my usual self, but, overall, I think becoming a dad has made me a better human.

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