August 29, 2005
It's our birthday, but you get the balloons!
Specifically, with the exception of your mum being a bit sick, which you can read all about in the archives, there was no real way to tell that you were on your way. Of course, with time that all changed, and it's certainly true that by the time you got here we thought we were pretty much prepared for you.
How wrong we were. The impact that you had on our lives belies your size by a factor of a thousand. I've been slowly coming to grips with the idea that I have an ultimate responsibility to you, but I'm still boggled by the idea that I'm the one you're going to turn to with difficult questions. That I'm going to have to be the one to tell you why the sky's blue, and why people hiccup, and what's the fastest bird in the world. Of course, having a reference librarian for a mum, one of the first things I'm going to teach you is how to look it up yourself, but I'm still going to be the last resort.
And that's the whole point that I'm trying to get to, that as your father, it's my job to be the one who can point you in the right direction when you want to head outwards, and to be here for you when you need a place to feel safe.
Watching the beginnings of co-ordination, seeing you figure out that you can use your hands to grab stuff (and shove it directly do-not-pass-go into your mouth), and recognise me when I walk into a room (immediately grinning your head off), are things that I didn't realise would affect me the way they have.
Men, it's thought, live their whole lives trying to meet their father's expectations. I feel like I need to tell you now, and again and again as you grow older, that just by being here you make my day. That simply looking at me and smiling is enough to break my heart, and that anything else you do short of winning a Nobel or a Pulitzer or an Archibald or an X-Prize is just gravy.
Not that I don't like gravy, I'm a massive fan of sauces of all kinds, but you get the gist.