But you can't comprehend it until your child's first cry shatters whatever life you lived until then and calls you onwards to the life you have now.
It was twenty-eight minutes past nine in the morning when our little son made his mark on our lives with the official start of his own. He weighed in at 3545 grams, or 7 pounds 8 ounces in the old scale, and was 51cm long. A well formed, breathing, beautiful baby boy. And a mum, my darling wife Masumi, who was still with us after 2 days of pain and all that incredible pushing. She was magnificent. And me, relieved and amazed. All of us changed.
After we'd recovered a little from the emotion of the day, that afternoon we named him Ryo Simon. Simon after my father. Ryo as a good, solid Japanese boy's name. The character we've chosen for his name means "truth" or "understanding". We hope he'll come to seek and find both. And without realising it at the time we named him, I think those meanings rang true because we found a little of both ourselves with his birth.
The days have blurred since July. 16 weeks on, Ryo is about 8-and-a-half kilos and wearing clothes that usually fit a 12-month-old child. He's well on his way to becoming a sumo!
There's not much else to report from paradise. I guess that's the nature of becoming a parent, it's all about the kids from now on. I go to work and come home. We play and bath and feed and change our boy, catch an hour or two of time to ourselves in the evening, and do it all again the next day. But there's nothing wrong with white picket fences. It's just surprising, in some ways, to find myself actually there.
But there's plenty to look forward to. We're just about to settle on our first major purchase, a block of land here in Cairns. It's hard to say whether we'll get the chance to build on it - if we stay in Cairns for another year or two, then I'm sure we will. Dreaming about building is certainly lots of fun and a learning process. And there's no doubt that owning a house in Cairns is cheaper than buying one in the big city!
Otherwise it's Christmas with the family, Awa Odori next northern summer, whatever family time we can grab in between, and the ongoing adventure that is parenthood and life with our son.
The last couple of years it looks like I've averaged two, maybe three posts per year. Not quite the output that I had in Japan! I'll try not to let it drop any further!
Lots of love,