I’ve been a father for over a year now. Already my son has taken 15 steps and can make approximately 5 animals sounds. Every day it seems I discover new things to love about him.
The first time I held that boy I felt a tremendous love and a tremendous responsibility. I had to hold him while his mother recovered, and he slept in my arms, not knowing who I was or even seeing me yet. But he felt warmness and a heartbeat and something protective around him. I didn’t know anything about him other than his name, and that he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
The first few weeks were boring, but sweet. He mostly slept, ate, and looked at our blurry faces. I held him on my chest at night while my wife tried to get some rest.
Then came each of the little milestones: The first smile, the first laugh, the first deliberately spoken syllable, the first crawling, the first step, the first word—
His first word, we’ve agreed, was “hi”. He waves now, says “hi” and “bye”. He’s such a chatty, friendly boy. He holds phones up to his head and says “hi”. He can say “no”, and points his finger. He says “Dada”, “Mama”, and blows kisses by putting his hand to his mouth and moaning into his waving fingers.
My boy loves bubbles, bath time, and doggies, but is afraid of laughing monkeys. Ask him how big he is and he will raise his arms up in the air. Ask him how much Grandma loves him and he’ll do the same.
A couple weeks ago I had to stay home with my boy because he had a fever. He played all day, took naps, went for a walk, and watched Lorax. He ate a whole pouch of organic baby food. And pooped. When his mother came home, I was lying on the floor, exhausted. Toys were strewn all about the floor. My one-year-old son crawled over to me, laughed maniacally as he slapped my back like a bongo drum, and then rested his head on me and sighed. “Ahhhhh”.
This is my boy. And I am his daddy. Every day is a gift. I don’t have any insight or wisdom to give today. All I have is show-and-tell. I am so happy to be blessed with fatherhood, and to have such a happy boy. I hope the same for all those who wish for it. I ask for your prayers that I will be a good father all my days. I also ask for your prayers for children who do not have fathers, and for men who want to have children but cannot. Adults, men and women, try to be a strong presence in the lives of others always, especially those whose parents are not, or could not be there. There, that’s the wisdom/insight/moral instruction part of my post.
The other day I had a special Father’s Celebration breakfast with him at his daycare. It was the first time I ever saw him eat an entire meal without throwing something off the table or getting upset. He’s such a good boy.
These may just be the best years.
Happy Father’s Day to me!