I haven’t posted here in a while, which is probably ok since I’m pretty sure no one reads this blog anyway. I’ve been busy learning just in time to be a father to a happy, growing boy.

I do want to remind myself to write here, though, because it’s important for me to slow down and reflect on what this all means for me, my wife and for him.

He’s starting preschool this week — one day a week, for a few hours a day. It’s exciting and…something else. Scary? Sad? I’m not really sure. So many parents told me, ruefully: it goes by so fast. So I’m trying to hold onto this time and I can’t. All I can do is try to be mindful of the moment and enjoy him how he is. I want him to grow up and learn new things — that stuff is amazing to witness — but I find I sometimes already miss the days when he was a little baby.

I tell people that I used to be the Montgomery Burns of personal time — I was both wealthy and greedy.

When I became a dad, all of that flew out the window. It’s funny because I knew, at least at some level, that it would. My wife and I read books, took classes, heard from other parents aboout the difference in time you have before and after kids.

But on this whole other level, I was oblivious. When we learned that we would be adopting our son just two weeks before his biomom was scheduled for a c-section, I thought, “I’ll start a blog!”

That just seems hilarious to me now. Between work, taking care of this guy and all of the bottle washing, I’m living with a serious deficit in personal time. This after years and years of surpluses.

And yet, every once in a while, things line up. The kid got up early this morning because he had a diaper leak. He wouln’t go back to sleep and soon that he wanted to eat (at 4:30 a.m. instead of the usual 6:30 a.m.).

About 10 mins after feeding him, he was back asleep. I had a cup of coffee loaded in me, so now I found myself with a block of unexpected free time.

There’s so much I could do! I could tackle some chores. I could watch a movie. I could get a head-start on my day. I could play a game. I could work on my bike.

I wanted to do it all, but I couldn’t focus on just one. Then I decided to sit down and write about it in one of my neglected blogs.

But, you know, it’s all ok. Sure, sometimes it feels a bit like a forced march, especially if I haven’t had enough sleep. Having less personal time makes me more appreciative of the little bit I do have. And I think I waste less time now, too.

There are routines in me that have become subconscious. One of them is bringing my computer home from work. I fear that I will someday leave my computer on the ferry or on the bus. I have forgotten other things. Once, I left my contribution to the office white elephant Christmas party gift exchange hanging on a hook in the men’s room.

And yet, when I am going to or leaving the ferry, I never think about this fear. In fact, I don’t think much about my computer at all. I will often use it on the ferry and pack it up when it’s time to leave. The actions of strapping it around my shoulder, putting it in my bike pannier or car trunk, taking it out and bringing it into the house are not anything I remember with clarity the next day.

I drove to the ferry yesterday. I’ve been doing that more and more since Finn was born. Time is precious in the morning. I hurried home from the ferry yesterday because the new dog sitter was meeting us at the house to get some operating instructions. When I went to bed last night, I thought that I left my computer in the trunk of my car. When I went to retrieve it this morning, it wasn’t there.

I started a low-boiling panic. I looked through the car, then the living room and office. I could visualize it hanging on that hook in the ferry bathroom. I started going through a checklist of all the things I would have to do to try to track it down in the last day before my vacation, right before the release of a project I’ve been working on for the last seven months.

Then I found it in the bedroom.

I must have brought it in yesterday, as is my habit, and set it down before I picked up Finn in the nursery. It all happened automatically, in the background of my conscious thought.

It happened again yesterday. I was cleaning out this special nursing bottle that Taya uses. We have this cord that she uses to suspend it from her neck and, in order to not lose this while I was cleaning the bottle in a public restroom, I put it around my neck. Later, I clipped the clean bottle to the cord — I distinctly remembered doing that. When she was looking for the cord at 3 a.m. this morning, though, I had no memory of taking it off. I looked around, half asleep, for five minutes before I remembered that I took it off and put it with some of his other stuff when we were cleaning up to leave.

The difference is this: securing the cord was important (so I remembered it); placing it with his other stuff that would be coming with us was not important (so I didn’t).

Why does that happen? Is it a good thing? Being a new parent means that I have to focus on so many little details. I can’t retain them all.

Holding Finn last night, he scrutinized the van dyke beard on my chin. He reached out and touched it, again and again, clumsily running his fingers through my hair.

It took me a second to realize what he was doing. Reaching! Controlling his movements so that he could examine something! Making a physical connection to me.

This has been the richest joy of parenting so far: noticing when new little abilities and interests come online for him. Realizing that I mean something to him is a bonus.

I sure do love that kid!

I’m feeding Finn right now and dictating this as I hold him in a bottle in my other hand.

I got back late last night from a business trip to Portland. It was my first night away from him. It was hard, I missed him very much, but I also got a full nights sleep for the first time since he was born. I felt amazing the next day. It felt like that moment when you’re no longer sick with the flu.