What I remember most about those early days was truly how clueless I felt. I knew I would be a good dad because I just flat out wanted to be a good dad. I wanted to be a great dad. The order Maxalt online BEST dad. But I didn’t know anything about babies, and like I said, I was a pretty immature fella just trying to figure what was going on. It’s a good thing mom knew what she was doing.
Full Article My oldest, you were born two months early, and you were so jaundiced that you glowed in the dark. We couldn’t even hold you for the first several days of your life because you had to lie there in that horrible incubator 24/7. That became one of my regrets later, that I didn’t hold you more or touch you more when you were newly born. I know it sounds dramatic, but we have always wondered how traumatic it must have been not being held, crying, and lying there alone under those bright lights with that ridiculous mask covering your eyes that kept slipping off. It was certainly traumatic for us. And those needles. And that student nurse who was learning how to draw blood on you until mom realized she was dealing with a rookie and chased her out of the room. Those first few days were rough and we were going out of our minds.
I remember how surprised I was at how quickly I loved you so much. Before you were born I worried that I might not love you the way mom would, because I was pretty much just a bystander for 8 months, while mom and her body was making all of those sacrifices to have you. I worried that we wouldn’t be “connected” the same way you and mom would be. But that changed instantaneously. I remember a few months into it, I was in my first year of graduate school and had stayed home for a day to take care of you while mom was at work. I couldn’t believe how deeply fulfilling it was, how much more fulfilling than anything in my life actually, to take care of you and just be with you.
Over the years you’ve had many struggles, which is probably why we have such a deep connection with each other. I’ve had so many struggles myself, as you know, and our struggles have been similar. It gives me this extra layer of tenderness for you. You were always your own person, and that sometimes caused you to stumble, especially when your peers seemed to be growing up a little faster than you were. But your struggles and your resilience have caused me such enormous pride that sometimes it feels like my heart can’t take it anymore. I feel such satisfaction in who you’ve become.
My #2, my twin, you were the child I was convinced I could never love, at least the same way I loved your sister. When mom was pregnant with you, I remember worrying that all of my love was being taken entirely up by your sister, and that I wouldn’t have any left for you. Once we had you, I realized that there is no finite amount of love inside me. I can love all of you. I separately tell each of you that “I love you the most, but don’t tell your siblings that.” And it’s true, I do love each of you the most! I didn’t realize that was possible until I had my little redhead.
You just bring me pure joy watching you grow up. As you know, because I remind all of your friends about this, I can’t believe you turned out to be so outgoing and fun. When you were young, up until the 6th grade or so, I frequently bribed you to talk to people. I didn’t end up paying out much money. I would offer you several dollars just to look the waiter in the eye and order your own food, and the only thing that followed was a red face and lots of tears. Then one day one of your friends commented to me about how funny you are. My first thought was, “You mean she actually talks?” And you are truly so funny. Not just with your corny jokes either, but you are fun and funny and everyone loves being around you.
I have so enjoyed just watching you develop into this smart, sensitive, funny, athletic, and deeply spiritual person. You are really easy to parent because you already have such a strong internal compass for living in a way that brings yourself so much joy. You have a pretty thick skin and don’t get too rattled by a lot of the drama that occasionally surrounds you in your social circle. I love that you enjoy spending time with us.
My last girl, you are a parent’s dream, literally. Such a naturally kind, tender heart. Sometimes too tender. I worry about that tenderness. What do I do with it? I cherish it, but want to toughen you up somehow, because your teen years are moments away, and all of the drama and ugliness that always comes with teenage girls is about to be in your face.
Mom and I joke that we’d have a thousand more of you and could raise you over and over again for the rest of our life. We love being your parents. I feel like I won the lottery in getting to be your dad. You have the best qualities of both mom and I. You have my intuition and sensitivity, and mom’s intelligence, drive, obsessiveness, and desire to always do your best in everything you set out to do. You’re the kid who worries about missing a day of school because, even though you have 105% in all of your classes, you might get behind. Believe me, I cannot relate to this, but your mom can.
I’m so glad I got to end having girls with you. Everyone that knows you says that there is just something extra special about you. Even your sisters say this. I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe this specialness and I can’t find the words. But know that I feel so lucky to be your dad.
Finally, my boy. I enjoyed having girls so much that when mom was pregnant with you, I told her I could have another girl, that I didn’t need a boy. A boy wouldn’t add anything to my life that my girls hadn’t already given me. Boy was I wrong. How in the world did we get so lucky to get you? I didn’t think it could get any better, and it’s now infinitely better!
For one, it really is nice having another guy around the house. Prior to you, the only other male that’s ever lived in our home for any amount of time was that fish. And we all know what happened to the fish. So having another Y chromosome around has been really nice. But beyond this, you have brought a dimension of happiness into our home that the rest of us just love.
I love that you are kind and sensitive, and how you so naturally treat others with tenderness. I love that you love me, and tell me at least 15 times a day that you love me. Sometimes you just casually mention this to me as you are walking past me. “Love you dad” is music to my heart. You are every bit the hugger that I am, and can be so emotionally expressive. Even though I hate scouts, and secretly hoped that you wouldn’t be interested, I love that you love being a cub scout. You want to go camping, fishing, and hunting. All of the things I either dislike or don’t know how to do. But I will learn (except probably for the hunting) because it’s such a big deal to you.
All in all, for each of you kids, I hope you know how grateful I am to be your dad. I have different titles in my life, but none are as important to me as that of “Dad.” It’s turned out to be the hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It makes me want to be a better human being. I’m so thankful for each of you and the immense amount of joy that you have brought into my life, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings for us all.
I love you all so much.