Friday, June 17, 2011

My First Father's Day

In two days, I'll experience my first Father's Day as a father. I used to wonder what this day would be like for me - the first time I'd be receiving the "Happy Father's Day" wishes rather than always giving them.

Explaining what the last 10 months have been like for me as I've transitioned into being a father to an incredible little boy named Luke is immensely hard, but I'm going to try it...

Me and my buddy
There is something unexplainable about the relationship between a father and son. The same is true no matter the combination - mother-son, father-daughter, mother-daughter - but since I have experience on both ends of the line as a son and a father, I'll stick to talking about what I know best.

A father and son have an unspoken bond, and tie connecting them not only parent and child, but as men. My father and I are close in ways my two sisters could not understand. Not saying that they are not close with my father, just saying that the relationship is...different. We communicate differently. We read each other differently. We approach situations differently.

As crazy as it might sound to the non-fathers out there, Luke and I have this connection, even though he can't talk except for a few words like dada, mama, and cat. He is my buddy. I can spend hours on the floor with him playing and rolling around listening to him giggle and watching as he plays with his toys or chases our cat. Taking care of him has never once felt like a chore, but rather a calling. A call to serve the needs of my son.

I have rocked him to sleep darn near every day since he was born. I know the position best suited for him to fall asleep. I know when he's asleep, or just kind-of asleep.

Sleepy time
I know his mood, I understand his wimpers and his babble, I feel his pain when he falls, and I share his laughter when he's found something amusing. 
I love my son. I love my son more than I ever thought possible. He fills my thoughts all day long, and spending time with him and watching him grow every day gives me joy beyond measure. From the day I heard his heartbeat for the first time, to the first sonogram picture, to holding him when he was first born, to his first giggle, to his first crawl, to his first steps, to his first word, my whole world changes daily for the better because of him. I've made promises to myself that my son and my wife will always be taken care of. It is my life's passion to make sure that those two people always know that they are loved, and never want for anything, so help me God. And I know I'll need God's help all along the way, but in the way that God loved his son, Jesus Christ, I too aim to love my son in the same way.

And speaking of my wife, the arrival of our son made my love for my wife, Kimberly, grow ever stronger and more intense. Kim is a wonderful mother who loves her baby boy with a relentless passion that could never be denied, and for that - among many other reasons - I love her more and more every day.

One of my favorite pictures ever
Unfortunately, I don't think I've accurately portrayed my thoughts and feelings very well here. They run too deep and too strongly to convey in a few hundred words. Perhaps words are completely useless. The other fathers out there - including my own - understand this. But the words "Happy Father's Day" do strike a chord, because I am a father now, and those words carry an extra "oomph" that shoots to the core of me.

So Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. I'm one of you now, and it's amazing.

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