Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wet Eyes

Tomorrow is my son's third birthday. We're taking him to the zoo. Every day he amazes me, just by being himself. I look at him and, all at the same time, I see the baby who gave us our first scare when he was only minutes old and it was discovered that there was a blood vessel absent from his umbilical cord; the little boy who learned to walk (before he could even stand) by walking across the living room floor from Mommy to Daddy and back again; the boy whose first word was "Daddy," and his second word was probably "ball;" the tiny toehead who loves to play trains, cars, do puzzles, camp in tents made of sheets and living room furniture, and splash in puddles every time it rains. I hear the boy who rattles off new words every day that his Mommy and Daddy never taught him; who, after crying, asks for his eyes to be dried by saying, "Wet eyes;" the boy who who has a remarkable memory and an uncanny ability to navigate on the Internet between PBS, Thomas and Friends, and an assortment of other kids websites like it's second nature to him. I see the me that I used to be, and the man that I hope he will someday be. I see all the reason I would ever need for living and being the best example of a good man, good father, and good husband.

I also see him growing so quickly that I wish kids were born with a brake pedal that allowed parents to slow down the growing process to something more enduring -- something that seems more measureable in years than light years. The past three years have soared by. My wife constantly says it's going by fast, while I try to be the tough guy who assures her that he'll always be our little boy. The truth is, it is going by too fast -- way too fast! It seems three weeks, not three years ago, that we made that rainy trip to the hospital to welcome our new bundle into the world.

It's raining today, exactly three years to the date from the midnight drive to Labor and Delivery. The weather is the same today as it was then, but that's the only thing that hasn't changed. Our little baby boy is now a big boy who can't seem to wait to be a man. He's growing so fast, and our love grows with him, and while we figure on at least another fifteen years of guiding, nurturing, and picking up after him, it somehow feels like an appointment penciled in on the calendar is rapidly drawing nigh. An appointment that, sadly, cannot be cancelled or postponed.

Happy Birthday, Son! And remember, there's no need to rush. Take all the time you need, because these -- the best days of our lives -- will be gone someday, never to be regained. We love you, Son!

Daddy and Mommy

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