"Much of life, fatherhood included, is the story of knowledge acquired too late:
if only I’d known then what I know now,
how much smarter, abler, stronger, I would have been.
But nothing really prepares you for kids,
for the swells of emotion that roll through your chest
like the rumble of boulders tumbling downhill,
nor for the all-enveloping labor of it,
the sheer mulish endurance you need for the six or seven hundred
discrete tasks that have to be done each and every day.
Such a small person! Not much bigger than a loaf of bread at first,
yet it takes so much to keep the whole enterprise going.
Logistics, skills, materiel; the only way we really learn
is by figuring it out as we go along,
and even then it changes on us every day,
so we’re always improvising,
which is a fancy way of saying that we’re doing things
we technically don’t know how to do."
- Ben Fountain
[Photography by Amanda Rickenbach]