We made it.
One year old. How is it possible that tiny baby in my arms on August 11, 2009 is that walking, talking toddler today?
Perhaps the better question is, how can I love something so much after one year? Parker is the be-all, end-all of my love. It’s cliché, and as The Office’s Pam would say, I know saying it’s cliché is cliché, but I really figured out what my mom and dad always said to me, that you don’t truly understand how much your parents love you until you’re a parent.
It’s so strange to look at something like him and see yourself. The way he looks, the way he acts, his mannerisms, everything.
And then you watch him grow. You watch his brain connect things. You watch his legs be able to support his own body weight. You watch him use facial expressions to show emotion. You watch him seek your approval, as well as test your boundaries.
I think back to that day at the hospital, how stressed and anxious we were, waiting to become parents. As the hours passed, it didn’t seem like he was getting any closer to arriving. And then he came, delivered into our arms. I cried. A lot. To see my son for the very first time. For whatever reason, the fears I had about becoming a father disappeared. Our hospital stay was…dare I say, fun? It was like the first vacation we ever had with our son.
I can specifically recall one night just a few days after we arrived back home. I was rocking him to sleep, and I just remember saying to him, “I don’t care what I have to do in my life, I promise you that you will never want for anything.” He didn’t know really who I was, but we connected on that night.
Now, I’m Daddy. I get to see his eyes light up when he sees me, whether it be waking him up on the morning, or seeing him when I get home. He instantly recognizes me. He seeks me out for comfort when he’s tired or sad.
And today that little boy is 1. Happy Birthday, son.