My lawyer-friend stopped me this afternoon and asked when a man was unmistakably getting older. I did not know the answer and he said "when his oldest daughter turned 13".
I remember that day so clearly, shortly after one in the afternoon at the Our Lady of Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn when I carried Kathryn in my arms for the first time and I was dancing in the delivery room, part of the perks of being a physician I guess. There have been many sad moments in my life since but I don't think that there has ever been a time when the happiness of that day ever faded enough to make life seem hopelessly sad. My priorities and my perspective permanently changed that day and I continue to live primarily for my four daughters.
Yeats wrote in "Prayer for my Daughter":
"In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful"