Happy Birthday

I’m posting this as close to 00:25 as I can, because exactly eight years ago at this minute, I saw my eldest son’s face for the first time. It was a bit red, a bit slimy, and it wasn’t long before it started making a whole lot of noise, but it was the most amazing instant of my life.

I try not to talk about family much on here, mostly because they’re bystanders who didn’t ask for it. When my kids grow up, I don’t want this blog to haunt them. They’re too young to understand that what gets put up on the Internet typically stays there forever, or how it can come back to bite them in the ass. A funny anecdote now might be the sort of thing they’ll wish I hadn’t written ten years from now, so I tend to keep to myself. I think I can still get away with a happy birthday here and there without causing them too much future distress.

You hear a lot of things from a lot of people about how it feels to be a parent for the first time, and it’s tough to prepare for that moment because you really don’t know how it’s going to feel. You can’t know until you’re there. For my part, I’d just gone through a very rough year. I never had much family growing up and in the span of less than three months the entirety of what I’d ever called “family” passed away. As the only one left standing, I was stuck with all the estate crap, all the paperwork, all the selling of memories I just didn’t have room for. I also had to deal with an unwanted job transfer, and all the stress of being a home owner for the first time. Probably, I was as depressed and I just didn’t know it. My son turned my life around by giving me something really wonderful to focus on. It was like being buried alive, and giving up hope, and then having someone unexpectedly clear dirt from your face to let the sunlight in, and you knew that everything going to be all right.

In the eight years since that night, I’ve done a lot of things, and changed in many ways, but watching him grow has been one heck of a treat. I’ve relived my own childhood in seeing him explore the same things that interested me at different stages. I’ve marvelled at how he can be EXACTLY like me while at the same time being nothing like me. I’ve tried not to shut any doors for him without spoiling him and I’ve probably completely failed on the second half of that. I’ve been angry at times, and stressed and exhausted, but I’ve also been proud and happy and amazed. I wouldn’t trade away any second of it.

I can’t wait to see what he does next. As long as he thinks it’s awesome, I think I’ll be okay with it. I wish him all the happiness he can hold.

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