Steamboat Springs I’ve heard all the clichés over the past seven weeks:
They grow up so fast.
Each day is better than the one before.
Life will never be the same.
So far, they’ve all been true.
April 29 was the happiest day of my life. It was 10:40 p.m. in room 52 of the Family Birth Place at Yampa Valley Medical Center, and my wife, Meg, had just given birth to our first child.
Avery Margaret Boyer — all 8 pounds, 13 ounces of her — safely entered this world under the expert care of Dr. Mary Bowman. It was a moment I’ll cherish as long as I live.
The seven weeks since have been somewhat of a blur. Like all new parents, our waking hours rotate among some combination of feed the baby, burp the baby, clean up the baby and put the baby to sleep. We go to sleep ourselves at some point, and if we’re lucky it’s uninterrupted for a few hours before the process begins anew.
Somehow I wake up energized each morning, eager to see the hint of a smile in the corner of Avery’s lips or to hear her gurgle as she attempts to figure out those tiny vocal cords.
I’ve worked at the Steamboat Pilot & Today for almost nine years, but it wasn’t until I returned to the office the week of May 23 that I finally set a framed photo atop my desk. Two other, more recent pictures of Avery are propped up beside the framed one. On days when I can’t make it home for lunch, Meg and I usually squeeze in a little FaceTime on our iPhones so that I can see my baby girl in real time.
It’s funny how even our most habitual routines change with parenthood. I used to slip into more comfortable clothes the moment I got home from work. Now I slip Avery into my arms and talk to her as if she could understand what I’m saying. I think it’s just what you do when you’re a dad.
Many times over the years I’ve had readers ask me whether I have children of my own. Typically it’s in the context of a discussion about an article that we published, or planned to publish, that involved one of their children. The subject matter of those stories usually wasn’t something a parent would want to have published about their kid, regardless of age.
No, I don’t have any children, I would reply. No matter how much I tried to empathize, I knew I couldn’t completely understand their perspective.
Now I have Avery. I do understand. And I can’t imagine life without her.
Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He can be reached at bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.