2 Years Gone By

Exactly two years ago at this time I had been awake for nearly twenty hours of pacing, nerves and hope. Tricia had also been awake with the same ailments, but added pain to her list. She would eventually be in labor for 16 hours before I was thrown into a set of scrubs and walked in to an operating room to watch her go unconscious. The surgery was performed, and all of a sudden I was standing between my wife — motionless and cut open, and my son — being pricked and measured and fighting for air. All of a sudden I was a father.

I carried Atticus to the nursery for monitoring, then I sat outside in the rain and called my parents, my sister and Dave. It was five in the morning and it was cold and wet, just as Seattle should be at that time. My voice was small and shaken.

After that it’s a blur. He wasn’t, then he was. He couldn’t, now he does. He has grown smarter, funnier, happier, cuter, and we, his mother and I, have grown prouder, and quite a bit grayer. It is a small trade on our behalf.

He’s in bed now. It’s nearly 1am, and Tricia just walked in from work; and I just polished off a bottle of Maker’s that has been fading slowly for a few weeks. When he wakes in the morning he will be older, no longer measured by months, but by years. He will be, is now in fact, two. No longer just our baby boy, but to the world a little boy — a walking, talking, charming kid, shed of blankets and pacifiers and embracing laughter and sunshine. He is growing up, but as every parent knows, he will always be our baby boy.

And here is where I’d put the cheesy music and the 80s fast-forward montage. This is where I hold my son as the song begins, and just as Hall or Oates, or maybe Night Ranger, starts to fade away, I’m hugging him on his return from college, or the war, or maybe fresh from prison. I can’t say. I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m hoping college. I’m hoping I still have hair.

And that is fatherhood- being made to worry that the stupid things you got away with will come back to haunt you. Yet, cautious as I may be, I’m not worried. Even at two, I can see in my son’s eyes that he gets it- he’s a good apple and me, I’m the tree in this metaphor.

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