Seven years ago today I was watching open eyed as my son Zachary was born. If you’ve ever seen a live birth you know the awe I am talking about. It’s an incredibly personal and spiritual experience. Now as I watch my son blow the candles out on his cake it’s tough to think that 7 years have gone by so fast. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that my wife and I brought our son Zachary home from the hospital. We were new parents without a clue on how to raise a child let alone what to do with this tiny baby. And yet somehow we managed to figure it out just as all new parents do.
I still remember the day my wife told me she was pregnant. “Are you sure?” I asked. She showed me the stick with the plus sign clearly visible. I remember vividly the thoughts running through my mind:
• What am I going to do now?
• I’m not ready to be a father.
• There goes all my freedom.
• What do I know about being a father? I can’t even take care of myself.
Yes, I freaked out a bit. And I stayed freaked out throughout the whole pregnancy. Yeah, it was fun to go to the prenatal visits and listen to the heart beat and get the ultra sound pictures and all of that. But being that he was still inside the womb it was kind of the whole ‘outta site outta mind” thing. I mean I knew that eventually this baby would make his presence but it all seemed surreal, except for the fact that my wife’s belly was getting bigger and she complained a lot more.
It all came together though in that delivery room. Seeing my son born and actually participating in welcoming him into this world was a life changing experience. We all have the natural innate ability to be parents. For me those abilities kicked in as soon as I saw my son born. I went from trying to imagine my life with a child to not wanting to imagine a life without him.
It’s not an easy task. There are plenty of trial and tribulations, life adjustments and sacrifices but the rewards are priceless. Being a father is truly a blessing from above. And here I am now wondering where all the time went. My advice is to treasure every moment you can with your kids. Yes, even treasure the times when your kids are doing crazy things like swirling their hands in a public toilet or coughing up coins like a Vegas slot machine or barfing on your neck from the backseat of the car. Every moment is a blessing.
Make the time to spend with them rather than just talking or thinking about it because if 7 years can go by so fast you can bet the next 7 will as well.