We have five senses that work in concert to help us navigate our way through this world. There are moments we hone our attention in on one sense more intimately than the others. When listening to music we are more aware of our hearing than our sense of smell, although that may depend on who is in the room with us. Then there are other times when our senses collide – when the five become one during a single event in time, creating emotional elation and giving us a stockpile of references to retrieve the memory of that moment. The birth of a child is one of those ‘sense collisions’, where you put together the vision of your growing family, her first cries, your hand gently caressing their forehead, the smell of sterile hospital eclipsed by fresh life, and the sweet salty taste of your families tears gathered on your face after celebratory embraces – no single intake of the outside world taking center stage, all forming and lending themselves to the next act. What a romantic vision. Perhaps, more accurately, it was the vision of your hands on your wife’s foot through your tears, the sound of everyone’s cries, the feeling of the ground, the smell of a sterile hospital eclipsed by the smells of giving birth, and the taste of water being poured in your mouth by the doctors, all while your wife is holding your newborn, seemingly not as phased as you. Whichever it was, it was a collision of senses – a moment of intense awareness.
Yes, there are these five senses that guide us, and then there’s ‘papa sense’. It is something that you can’t be taught; it’s that intuition that you have as a dad, that force that guides your decisions, a sense that we, as dads/parents, need to trust. Will it always be right? No. Just like we can misinterpret our other senses, we can second guess and doubt our own intuition.
The posts to follow will be stories of my days with our two girls, which will hopefully entertain you, while we delve into the humorous, insightful, odd and ever-changing world of being a stay at home parent. Stories painted by what we touch, taste, hear, smell, and see. All of which have moments of beauty and disgust.
Tomorrow’s post: Sounds. Should I be listening to this with them?