August 03, 2005
I don't know that 1/4 is necessarily one of one's lifetime milestone birthdays, certainly to me it seems simultaneously like you've been here for no time at all, and that you've been here forever. My memories of your birth are as fresh as if they were yesterday, but your presence in our lives is so utterly overwhelming that it seems a lifetime ago that we were without you.
Posts that I wrote before you arrived strike me now as being written by a completely different person, one who had no concept of how astonishing you would be. I know that I keep harping on about my joy at being able to feel like I'm communicating with you, but I'm just trying to get across how I feel.
I got a chance this morning to talk to another new dad. A man I work with was able to say hello to his son (Tyson Jet L., if you don't mind) on the weekend, and his enthusiasm at showing me photos of his boy brought home to me how far we've both come in such a relatively short time. The mantle of 'dad' now hangs easier on my shoulders, the sound of it rolling around in my mouth no longer feels so strange.
At the same time, I feel like we're starting to get to know each other. I know that, when I lean over your bassinette in the moments after you wake, your smile is for me, that you know I'm your dad. When you snuggle closer to me while we're out and about, with you strapped onto my chest, it fills me with unspeakable pride that I'm the man you choose as your safe haven.
I haven't told you about this before, but here's a story about the day you were born.
After your various aunts and uncles had departed, your mother (who, unsurprisingly, was exhausted) had fallen asleep and I was left "holding the baby". When I took you to my chest, I was careful to hold you in my left arm. This, punkin, was so that I could use my right to fight off any wild dogs that burst into our hospital room. The strength that flowed through me in that moment, knowing that it was my job for the rest of my life to protect you, was more powerful than any emotion I'd felt before.
Since that moment, I've felt that way for every minute of every one of the days that you've been alive.