Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Love Story continued ...

The next morning dawned and I realized that I was now a father. What?! Now what? That was a brand new feeling to awaken as a father. It was a good feeling but it was not complete until Jody and our son came home. It took a lot longer than planned due to the emergency C-section. They were in the hospital for a week. Then life changed, forever and it changed in such an awesome way that I could never adequately describe but it has been a tremendous ride.

I remember holding my son in those first few days after he was home and just being in awe. In fact I said to Jody several times “this is a little person”. In the past any baby I had held was just a baby. But this was our baby and we were responsible for him and he wasn’t just a baby he was a person. A person I was responsible for and a person who had already captured heart and mind. I had a lot to learn about babies, about being a father and about being the husband of a mother. Until that point I was the husband of my wife, now I was the husband of the mother of my child.

Days at work couldn’t go fast enough now, I wanted to get home and be with my family. I wanted to see how much he had grown that day. It seemed that some days he grew a bunch while I was at work. I wanted to get home and hear about all that he had done that day. One of the things I learned about being the husband of the mother of my child was that she might not always want to replay the entire day for me as soon as I walked in the door. We were learning this parenting thing and this being a family thing one experience at a time. When you take your child and home from the hospital they send a lot of things home with you. There are some care items, some things that you used while you were there, any plants or balloons that were in the room and a bill. However, they do send an instructional manual on raising your child home with you.

Instead of a parenting manual you are left to trial and error, to the latest book you buy, to the advice from many observers and to the example you had from your own parents. The trial and error continues to this day, the latest book’s pages have yellowed, the observers will always have advice, but for me the most valuable was the example of my own parents. I was fortunate in the parents I was blessed with and there was much to be learned from their examples. Something worked in the last nearly 34 years, we have 3 great children, 2 terrific kids in law (who we just consider as our kids) and 6 terrific grandchildren. All of this started from a date one spring night in college.

A baby means change, but there was even more change about to come …


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