Ryan - Loranger, Louisiana
Entered on September 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood
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I believe that parenthood changes your life. It changes the way you act, and also the way you think. At first I thought that my life as I know it would be over, but it was just the beginning. I just turned 17 when my daughter was born, what else could I think besides that I just made the biggest mistake of my life?

Before I was a father and before I was able to live with my little girl, I was always either at a party, or on Bourbon Street in the famous French Quarter. I got to see my daughter every weekend, but I usually got a babysitter at least one of those nights. Now that I look back, I really don’t know why I did that. I guess the father thing just didn’t kick in yet. It used to be that I would rather hang out with my friends, rather than my daughter; of course, it was my senior year in high school, and I didn’t want to miss out on anything.

A lot of people used to ask me things about the baby, and of course I couldn’t answer them, because I was never with her. That got me thinking more and more about the kind of father I wanted to be, and the kind of father I was being.

After a few months, I started spending more and more time with my baby girl. Now I am out of high school, and I am living with her. I am with her everyday, not only on the weekends like earlier. My first thoughts of the situation couldn’t have been more wrong. Now I always have something to do, and always have someone to go places with. I never have a boring moment when I am with her.

It is really fun to give her a bath because she is so playful when she gets in the water. We have a bunch of toys for her to play with in the tub and she always makes sure she plays with every one of them before bath time is over. Before she gets out of the tub, I have to mop up all the water that she has splashed out onto the floor. I like to call her “Hurricane Cadence.”

I love spending time with my little girl. My favorite place to spend time with her is the aquarium. I always let her walk around and point to all the fish, or “ish,” as she calls them. It really is a gift from God to have this wonderful little girl. She is the best thing that has happened to me, and she really has changed my life.