I can hardly believe that this Saturday my little boy Matthew turns two. Where has the time gone? I can still remember the day he was born clear as day. I wrote a blog then and if you did not get a chance to read it then, you can read it here.
Oh how the memories of his birth flow back to me like a river released from a dam. The feelings of being a new father and knowing that this new life, which you help bring into this world, will be shaped and formed by the person you are.
Making life fills you with humility, balls, arrogance, a mighty manliness, confidence, terror, joy, dread, and love, a sense of calm and reckless adventure. It is a complete bag of different emotions. Isn’t anything possible now? If we can populate the world, can’t we create and shape it? Then reality and diapers and formula and sleepless nights and child seats and yellow custard crap and cream cheese vomit set in. But…oh, these are the blessed needs and fluids of my boy and at the end of each headachy, tiring new world of a day, we are exhausted but exalted by new identities, Mom and Dad!
At home, we take alternating shifts. I walk my boy lost miles across our tiny bedroom floor until his eyes go from full to half-mast to…sleep. Sitting back in the recliner chair with Matthew upon my chest, I watch him rise and fall with each breath I take. I listen and count each and every exhalation of his lungs, his breaths still so few as to remain countable, a prayer to God, Matthew’s ultimate Creator. I inhale his baby smells, secure him gently in my hands, synchronize our breathing, and I drift to sleep in peace.
The endorphin high of birth fades, but its trace remains with you forever, its fingerprints indelible proof of love’s presence and daily grandeur. You have offered up your prayer. You have vowed service to a new world and laid a bedrock of earthly faith. You have chosen your sword, your shield, and where you will fall. Whatever tomorrow brings, these things, these people, will be with you always. The power of choice, of a life, a lover, a place to stand, will be there to be called upon and make fresh sense of your tangled history. More important, it will also be there when you waver, when you’re lost, providing you with the elements of a new compass, encased within your heart.
From here on, the hard gravitational pull of the past will have a formidable challenger: your current life. Together, Stephanie and I made one and one equal three. That is God’s miracle. That is life.
This new life revealed that I was more than my life had ever previously been. It was more than any song, any story, any night, any idea, any truth, any lie, any shadow, any question, any answer, and any moment could ever bear. All of these were just a restless figment of my own and others’ imagination. Work is work and play is play, but life is life, and life trumps everything else.
Matthew, these past two years have been the greatest years of my life. Anything I have ever done or accomplished pale in comparison to what you have given me. You have given my life a new purpose. You have made me see the world in a completely different way. You have shown me God in a way I had never previously known. Matthew, you have redefined who I am as a man and that is really the greatest gift anyone could ever hope to get.
I know that this is not the end. There are so many days (God willing) to come, so many memories to write unto my heart, and so many things I still want to teach you. I just wanted to take this moment in time to pause and tell you what you mean to me. You are my little boy and I am prouder of you than I will ever be able to express to you in words or actions. I am proud of the little boy you are today and I am proud of the man you will become one day. Each day I get to spend with you in my life is a gift from God and I cherish each moment.
You truly are the best part of me Matthew and I hope you enjoy your day. You deserve it!