First Step by Vincent Van Gogh - I will be with you at your first moments


The child has many first moments


"Honey, our daughter is just rolled over!"

"Honey, our daughter is just rolled over!"

My wife, overjoyed called me when our five-month-old daughter succeeded in rolling over. When I heard the news about my daughter during working at the office, I naturally put a smile on my face. My wife was on maternity leave, so she was caring for the baby at home and was able to watch our daughter close. She must have been very proud of our daughter growing up. As the things that our daughter can do and feel increase one by one, so wouldn't the child also have said that? "My life is worth living"


On the other hand, it was the moment my baby experienced something for the first time and I was really sorry that I could not be with her at that precious moment. If I say "I am the most obligated to keep the home, so I can't help it considering the reality that I have to work until late at night!", it would be just an excuse. Because every moment that our daughter grows up is a precious time like gold that never comes back.


So it seems to be very important to have a child's 'first moment' together. The moments of rolling over, tasting food, crawling, sitting with his back upright leaning on something, and finally starting to walk for the first time, every moment becomes unforgettable memory that will be etched in the hearts of the parents.


But there were quite a few first moments of a child that I had already missed. I regretted not being able to be with her. However, my good daughter always kindly re-played for such a father. In front of her father who came back home, she nicely represented the various skills she had learned during the day. The daughter seemed to be yelling like:


"Look at this, Dad. I can stand!"
"Dad. I can finally walk! Look at this!"

Then, I had no choice but to applaud and cheer, saying, 'Oh, my baby!'



<First Step> Vincent Van Gogh, 1890, 72.4 x 91.1 cm, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Your first step toward me


I still can't forget the moment when my child started walking. What a wonderful moment for me! Here is a painting that gives the same feeling as back then. This painting is titled <First Steps> painted by Vincent Van Gogh. If you are a parent, you can quickly empathize with it. The father has his arms wide open toward the child, and the child is also stretching out his small arms to such a father. The child is still clumsy in walking. Because the child just learned how to take a step into the world. His(or Her) feet can't keep up with his(or her) mind. The child looks like falling again at any time.


So the mother is holding this child tightly behind his(or her) and speaks kindly. "Come on, go see Dad. Show Dad you walked!." Just after seeing the first steps of the child, the mother ran to the father carrying her child. She wanted to inform the father who was working in the field of this happy news. The father who was plowing hard in the field throws the shovel in his hand when his family appears. With a bright smile, he opens his arms to greet his daughter. "Oh, my daughter!" he said. The late spring sun gently caresses this lovely family, and green leaves and grasses surround each other like a haze.


It was around this time that Vincent was hospitalized in a sanatorium in Saint-Remy. He heard of the birth of a child to his beloved brother Theo and his wife. For Vincent, Theo was the only friend and family in the world who understood him. So Theo's child was also his family. Vincent, well aware of the parents' hearts, decided to paint this painting. Vincent found out that the painter Jean-François Millet, whom he admired, had painted the original painting that showed the warmth of his family. So he struggled for looking for that painting, finally found a black-and-white photograph of Millet's <First Step>, and painted this beautiful painting with his own colors. It is this painting that completes his love for his brother, his sister-in-law, and his newly born nephew.


Vincent had never become a real father, but he left such a family heartwarming painting. I guess he had always kept his warmth towards people. He fought with mental illness and used to annoy those around him with his bizarre behavior, but it seems that the flame of love that remained in his heart did not go out until his death. Vincent was painting with a sense of depression and despair, but what remains on the canvas are joy and hope. So he remains the most loved painter by people.



To be with you for your first moments


I watched my daughter's <First Steps> through a video clip filmed by my wife. The first step is one of my daughter's first moments that I missed. But there will be countless other 'firsts' for our daughter in the future. She will speak, sing, draw, ride, meet friends and go to school for the first time. So, I want to be with my daughter as much as possible for the new 'first moment' that will come in the future. Then, I want to ask her. "How was it?"


These days my daughter starts saying, 'Dad! Daddy!' (although she calls it so even to non-dad people, sometimes embarrassing). Her voice is so sweet that my heart skipped a beat every time I hear it. So, the child grows up touching her father, and the father also becomes a real adult. From now on, I want to keep my daughter's first moment as much as possible!

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