Monday, February 15, 2016

One Day Makes A Difference

Even as I type these words and watch them appear on the screen I still can’t believe that it has already been a year since we met our son for the first time. Our lives changed in an instant and I can still remember the feeling of shock that originally hit me when my wife’s water broke. While I was able to pull myself together, collect most of our things, and drive us down the snow dusted highway to the hospital, that daze didn’t really lift until hours later when our son grabbed my finger for comfort as the nurse cleaned him off.

There are moments from that day, and from the week for that matter, that remain a little hazy having melded together in a jumbled memory but there are also moments, good and bad, that remain clear as if they only happened an hour or two ago. That is what makes this passage of time so unbelievable. And while there have been trying moments to be sure during this first year of parenthood, I wouldn’t never want to go back to the way things used to be. Being a father, sometimes even a good father, is what I enjoy most each and every day.

It has been an interesting year full of first experiences, difficult moments, and challenging situations. It has been a calendar full of change but one that has brought us to a great place in our lives. There have been the funny moments of dodging poo and casting wee rainbows, nurturing times when our son got sick or was overwhelmed during his growth spurts, and adorable moments when he would smile, laugh, or nuzzle in our arms. And the daily joy beaming from his face, some days it is more prevalent than others, is enough to make even the most difficult days disappear.

Of course, we also find ourselves in the unique position of celebrating and mourning at the same time. While our son’s birth and my mother-in-law’s passing technically happened on the same day, this is one of the times that I insist on going by the Hebrew calendar. By doing so our son's birthday, the 26th of Sh'vat, 5775, is separated from the date on which my mother-in-law passed away, 27th of Sh'vat, 5775. Having that single day of separation makes a huge difference at times. It is interesting how faith can be comfort in the most obscure ways in addition to the guidance that it provides during times of struggle.

However, while there are no trips to grandma’s house that our son will remember about growing up, he still knows his grandma and recognizes her in pictures. It hasn’t been easy but there is a bond between the two of them that we both wanted for our children long before our baby became a reality. We didn’t plan on it happening this way but the important thing is that they are connected, our son knows his grandma, and his laugh when he sees her picture eases just a little bit of the pain from that day.

And this is just one of the many ways that our son continues to change how we look at life and the world. At times he has been our sole reason for happiness but mostly he has provided us with the love that permeates every moment of life and makes us remember that the love is what we always need to remember. Whether someone is here or not, the love remains. As I have said before, I will forever be thankful for that gift which our son has given us.

It is a complicated day, couple of days actually, but one that comes down to the most simple of statements… Happy 1st Birthday my adorable baby boy! Mommy and daddy love you!