April 05, 2006
It was exactly ten years ago that I first cradled you in the crook of my arm. It was 5:30am on a gray April morning. Out of the hospital window I could see a light snowfall and the chill of winter seemed to be desperately holding off the changing of the seasons. But for me, it was the real first day of spring. After a sleepless night of waiting for you to come into the world, you finally arrived.
I held your motherÂ’s hand for most of those early morning hours; reassuring her that everything would be all right. And I knew it would be, except for the thirty seconds or so when I saw the umbilical cord wrapped around your neck and I forgot how to exhale. But the doctor deftly slipped it back over your head and it wasnÂ’t long before you were as pink and perfect as a newborn baby should be Â– 7lbs, 1oz. Your Â“officialÂ” time of birth was 5:18. The irony that 5-18 is my own birthday was not lost on me.
I rocked slowly back and forth in a rocking chair that the nurses brought to us as mom slept beside me in her hospital bed. I was exhausted and relieved at the same time. It wasnÂ’t long before I noticed a few tears of joy running down my cheeks as I looked into your little face. At that moment there was just the three of us and no one else existed. It was so quiet I could almost hear my own heart beating. That birthing room, so peaceful with the lights dimmed, was like a transport taking me to a world larger than the one that existed before I walked into that hospital - the world of a parent.
From that moment, everything changed. In ten years, IÂ’ve tried to experience my life through your eyes. And many times, despite all the moments of frustration, anxiety and even anger, IÂ’ve come to be reminded just how special a world this is. I laughed when you laughed, I hurt when you hurt and, so often when everything seemed to me to be so complicated, you helped give me perspective. You have before you a gift; a life to live with hopefully a long time to enjoy it. But I have been given a wonderful gift as well Â– the opportunity to be your father.
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