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Pre-baby Steps

I’ve never been to San Francisco. Should I be looking for a good bowl of Rice-a-Roni?

Oh yeah, we’re going to San Francisco this weekend. Amanda had conversations with a nurse about girl stuff and based on that conversation, they decided that this particular weekend in the latter half of September was the right time to go see a doctor in San Francisco. So we are.

We would have done this last month, but vacation got in the way. While I don’t take any joy in adding any more time to a couple’s waiting to start their family, we weren’t about to cancel many months of planning for our kids to see the ocean, which was everything, by the way. It was a needed refresher and last bit of summer fun before kindergarten started. I still don’t like typing “kindergarten” about one of my kids. Every milestone is another nail in the coffin of her innocence, but a gust in her sails on the voyage of growing up and learning and doing and experiencing all the things. Like loose teeth. Yup. That’s happening, too. We should probably schedule a couple college visits while we’re at it.

Anyway, yes, the kiddos loved everything about Myrtle Beach. Hush puppies and peach cobbler narrowly beat out mini golf as the vacay favorite. The vinegar-soaked pork that is Carolina barbecue will never be understood by all the Sweet Baby Ray’s drinkers north of Tennessee. That’s sad, because we’ll never have a place in MN that does Carolina barbecue right. At least we have Chick-Fil-A’s sweet tea. That’s better than nothing.

Switching gears back to California: it will be a fast and furious kind of weekend. Our flight out leaves at something like 5am, so we’ll be at a hotel the night before to catch the airport shuttle; as it turns out, Ubers from the burbs to the airport are hard to come by at 3ish am. Who knew? We’ll fly out in some state of semi-consciousness and arrive 2 hours later on a 4 hour flight. It’s not time travel per se, but it’s close. Coming back, we’ll go back to the future 6 hours on a 4 hour flight into MSP late and reload for the next week of kindergarten.

Full disclosure: I don’t dislike being a dad at all. It’s literally the best. And I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: this whole journey is about giving that joy to people who could otherwise never experience the wonder of watching a squishy baby grow up to look just like mom, or be left-handed and creative like dad. And, yes, they’ll have to get up early for kindergarten, too, but that’s just part of the journey. It’s change and adjustment rolled into watching your little girl never say “ba-ba” to mean “thank you” ever again, but it’s worth it because she can write you real love notes with actual letters and spell “Daddy” correctly at the end of “I love you,” so I’ll take it. And hopefully, pass it on.