Evan was born. And the world changed. I changed. It wasn't a conscious decision, there wasn't a moment of hesitation or question (though those came before and after). It was like one moment I'm just a guy, cheering on the most important person I'd ever met... So proud of her strength and courage (and yes, physical ability to some how push another living human being into the world)... But then the next moment, I'm a dad... Without learning how, I'm instantly connected to this gooey screaming alien child... And I can't take my eyes off him. I want to tell him that he's okay, and that I'm watching out for him and taking care of him. Even though everything happening around him and to him is incredibly traumatic and terrifying, I'm there for him. And I look at Christine knowing we have something so special at that moment... A family. We're parents. (I'm also very aware and thankful for amazing drugs that allow us both to be smiling and talking at this point.)
So fast forward to tonight... I hold him down to put eye drops in his pink-eye stricken eye, pray beside his bed, and kiss him on the head, knowing he'll scream when I leave the room. I go in an hour later, take the big wire with the wooden beads toy thingy off his bed, pull his cup out from under his side, and cover him up. Think about his newfound affinity for altoids, his pronunciation of the word 'daddy', how I never planned on calling anyone 'buddy'... But since the day he was born it just seems to fit. And I still have the deepest, most profound love for him (and his beautiful prego mama)... And I realize that part of the gift that a child is, is the experience of fatherly love, perspective, nature... It really is a gift.
So I go to bed thinking 'Jesus, we really need to name 2.0 before he gets here...' and realizing I'm about to go from being amused and amazed by ultrasounds, heartbeats, and belly-fluttering, to completely enamored and eternally connected to another human being... (one we still don't have a name for). Life is so weird.
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