I saw my daughter, Daphne, for the first time today. It was extremely surreal. She's 11 weeks old, and it is still extremely difficult for me to grasp that I'm a father. Even while I was holding her, it didn't sink in. Oddly, it didn't actually hit home until I watched the movie "Zombieland" with some friends tonight. It reminded me that, even when the world goes to shit, family is family. I think I have a harder time acknowledging this because I've never really had a family of my own. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't raised in an orphanage or anything. I just never got along with my stepmother and as soon as I turned 18, I left home and didn't look back. Even now, 8 years later, my contact with my family is limited to peripherals - my sister-in-law, my aunt, and my nephew.
Anyway, back to the point of today's discussion - Daphne. When I was a kid, I didn't have my father around, since he died when I was a baby. Some nights I would cry through the night wishing my dad would come and save me from my stepmother. While I don't think that kitten (Daphne's mother) would give Daphne a reason to cry for someone to take her away, I shudder when I think that I almost put her in that position. I almost let my bad relationship with kitten cost Daphne her relationship with her father.
So, last night, I went to kitten's apartment and was formally introduced to my 3 month old daughter. I've seen pictures before, and I caught a glimpse of her a few weeks ago, but last night/today was the first time I really interacted with her. She was fussy (duh, it was midnight and she was pissed at being woken up), but I was still trying to piece my feelings about the situation together. Then, kitten and I had sex. I'm not sure whether or not that was a good idea, but I think it was helpful. It helped me remember that we did have good times together, and that having her in my life, in whatever capacity, wouldn't be so bad. I barely slept all night, and neither did kitten. She was attending to Daphne all night, and her movements kept waking me up every half hour or so. I woke up in the morning and Daphne was starting to calm down. She was fun to play with for a little, but I realized exactly how awkward I am with babies. I don't know when to hold the head and when to pick them up or put them down. Let's just say it was an interesting few hours.
All in all, it was a big step forward for me. I think that I've finally accepted that she is my daughter, and I have a responsibility toward her, regardless of how I feel about her mother. Unfortunately, I won't get to see her very much since we live on different sides of the country, but I will make an effort to come see her until she's old enough to come see me. I guess this will make life just a little more interesting. :)