Our son Teddy turns nine today. His birthday is the culmination of a series of surprises, that include (but are not limited to):
Becoming a dad at forty, when my entire life had been spent in service to myself, not others.
The surreal experience of my bride and I being sent home with a live human being in our red Mustang, and wondering, “What the hell do we do now?”
Discovering that, for the first few months, he didn’t do very much; sort of like an exceptionally cute inchworm with toes.
Watching him grow. Alarmingly fast. Like, “Your four year old will need you to help him shave soon.” That kind of fast. Missy is very tall. I am tall. We’re all tall. Teddy is really tall. He’s five feet tall, with no end in sight.
Learning that kids tend to run around naked. A lot.
Finding out that due dates for babies are a “serving suggestion”, as he arrived six weeks early, when I had the entire bathroom ripped out and our toilet sitting over a crawlspace. It had quite the frontier feel, but with 85% more possums and raccoons.
Watching him develop a love for kittens and puppies as naturally as if it were his calling.
Seeing the first time he told a joke, and it was funny.
Holding hands with him as we walk, and wondering if I will ever be more needed (or happy) in my life than in that moment.
Seeing his mother in him, as well as his grandmother, and me, and a line of wonderful people who all comprise part of him; but knowing that he is utterly unique.
Wondering who he will become, but also fearing the passage of time.
Standing quietly in the kitchen with my wife, talking about him in hushed tones because he amazes us.
Feeling my purpose realized, fully and with complete joy, and being thankful that I get to see him grow.
Happy birthday, Teddy. You are the best thing under the sun. We love you.