It really, truly seems like just yesterday. But, on this date 18 years ago, I experienced a kind of joy the likes of which I'd never had before.
I became a father.
We had been expecting you for several months, obviously. I had seen you squirm in your safe surroundings and you had even kicked my butt in the bed a time or two. You were nine days overdue, so we kinda had to evict you from your Mom to give her a break, you know!
So, off to the hospital, early that morning. To register, get settled, induce labor, and wait. And wait.
You little booger, you didn't wanna come out. :)
40 percent effaced, and that's the best we got that day. And after showing signs of wanting to move UP the birth canal, the doctor thought it best that we surprise you.
The wait turned to preparation for surgery, then off to the operating room, and me, your "squeamish at any nasty talk" father saw insides of your mom and other stuff all around the room and it didn't bother me at all. I had tunnel vision.
It was all about you.
Mind you, I was keeping watch over your poor Mom, who became sick due to the anesthesia and threw up over and over, so much so that she wouldn't even get to hold you until the next morning......
But at 5:45pm, the doctor found you. You came out crying.
And everything changed.
Your mom and I were no longer "just the two of us". There were three. I had to change the answering machine.
I remembered the first thing I said to you in the warmer after you were wrapped up and placed inside.
Such historic words, eh?
And now, 18 years later, at around 6:30 on this Thursday morning, I'm about to go into your messy room and wake you up for school. And say....
"Hey there. Happy birthday, young man."
Congratulations, son. You did it! There were plenty of people these past 18 years who didn't know how you would turn out, even I admit nights of worry. I know two people, though, who never gave it a second thought.
Your mom, who sleeps peacefully beside me at the moment, and your Nana, who would be SO proud of you today. Just like she was when she saw you, for the first time, 18 years ago this evening.
I look forward to seeing your next 18 years, and couldn't be happier or more proud than to be your Dad.