Your labor wasn’t easy for mom. Thirty-seven hours. Three visits to the hospital over the weekend before she was admitted. You tried for a regular birth but just couldn’t make it out. The doctor had to go get you.
I remember, before he did, standing in the room with mom and the doctor watching the screen showing your pulse as it climbed and fell. The air was thick, the lights unforgiving.
He stood and said they were doing a C Section and, in the middle of August, you arrived.
I was the first one to hold you. Mom was in recovery and they wheeled you out to me. We sat on a chair in the room with the television playing in the background just after midnight. You didn’t cry. We had peace.
You ended up in the NICU with an infection and, a few days later, we took you home.
I still look at that picture of the day you got home and wonder where the years have gone.
You ran before you walked. You woke at the first hint of a ray of sunshine and we spent many mornings on the couch at 6 am watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
I remember you starting preschool and, eventually, elementary school. I remember dropping you off that day and crying at how much you’d grown and how, for the first time, you were in other hands.
I’ve watched you grow into a blonde ball of energy. Strong and strong-willed. You are my athlete, sensitive and caring. You have your mother’s big heart, even if you don’t know it yet.
Great things are coming for you. New experiences and learning, new friends and activities. I wish you joy as you learn more about who you are.
I’m sorry for not being the perfect dad, for the days where my energy doesn’t match your own and my patient is spent. I’m trying my best and will keep working to do better. I want you to be as proud of me as I am of you.
Your world will only get bigger and wider. You will keep learning. You will inherit the good and bad from my generation and you’ll need to handle it with strength that will come from these years.
You will know the love of Jesus, of community and service. You’ll meet an amazing woman and find yourself with a family one day. You’ll call mom and I when your son has jumped off the couch for the 1000th time after you said not to do it and you’ll ask us how we managed.
I’ll hand her the phone and laugh.
Happy Birthday son,