My first year as a dad was a whirlwind. There’s no other way to say it.

I graduated with my second Masters.

We moved out of our home in New Hampshire and then spent six months looking for a place to live, while balancing two dogs and a baby, before finally landing in Connecticut (and, of course, we all got Covid the week we moved).

I took a new job and spent most weeks in the fall jetting around the country on the health tech conference circuit (which was fun, but exhausting, too).

We welcomed our second niece to the family.

And through it all, we got to see Kaspar grow from a sweet, squeaky newborn to a loud, smiley, and active one year old.

I’ve also seen myself transform. I know I have become a lot more stressed about time management, orderliness, and productivity, but I can’t describe that growth as anything other than instinctual. Though my favorite area of growing up has been when I catch myself just marveling at the little human crawling around the playroom. It’s fun when I see my parents doing that, too.

One thing I’ve loved the most has been seeing the mom Darcy has become. She, more than anyone, has taken Kaspar’s sleeplessness on the chin, provided for him with the utmost love and affection someone can give and dedicated herself to being the best mom she could possibly be. I’m not sure the dogs have loved that piece of transition in our home, but Darcy’s awareness for how our four-legged best friends have had to cope more than makes up for it (at least in my opinion).

Kaspar’s wide open mostly toothless smile is the kind of smile that lights up the whole house even if it has descended into chaos. Especially when the house has descended into chaos. From day one he has been described by most who have met him as completely awake and aware, and I think he takes pleasure in using that to his advantage when his mom, dad and dogs are at their wit’s end. Maybe he takes after me with laughing at inappropriate moments. But when he does it lifts everyone up (except maybe Blinky).

I’ve most enjoyed watching his personality take shape. He is very much a real person and no longer a newborn. He loves Moana – a movie I’ve never seen all the way through, though have watched no less than two dozen times – bananas, balls (his second word, which recently expanded to football), going without sleep, music class and bubble baths. His preferences are quickly becoming our preferences.

Thus far, my fears of declining CF health as a result of family building have mostly not come to fruition, though he passed the stomach bug to us (which was worse than Covid), and because of that I really have nothing more to say about my own health.

I can’t believe it’s already been a year (iT gOeS sO fAsT!), but we leave that first year with nothing but excitement. Watching him grow has been… simply amazing.