Today is about you, my friend.
I want to tell you some things, things that you probably won't understand until you are much older. Maybe you'll even be a Daddy yourself when you feel what I'm going to tell you, and I hope you feel most of it for yourself.
Boys think their Daddys aren't scared of anything, but I have to tell you, I was scared of you.
See, I had a bit of a rough time as a kid. I was younger than the other boys, and had some stuff happen, and so I was afraid that if I had a little boy I would have to guide him through some of the things that life puts in the way, and I wasn't sure I could do a very good job.
It's easier for Daddys and their daughters, and harder. And your sister was such a pill, she really had me scared of adding to the family. But Mommy and I wanted to make our family grow, and wanted to make sure your sister could have a friend to love, so we tried again.
On the day you were born, the doctor asked, "Would you like to help?" Thinking he was just having fun with me, I replied, "Sure! But I could use some help!" And then as if to silence my arrogance, he handed me a gown and gloves, and took me to where you would join us. He took your head, and led it to the light of the room, and then asked me to step in, and take my son. You barely resisted before you entered my life, falling into my grasp. And you were born.
Any fears or insecurities I had about having a son have mostly gone now. You arrived as if to push those fears to the side, and accept what I had to offer without question. While I look into your face and worry about what has yet to come, you stare at me with eyes that could care less. Unconditionally accepting eyes. If I am going to disappoint you, I am really gonna have to want it. And I don't. I sometimes feel like I'm supposed to be tougher, and not hold and kiss you as much. I just can't seem to stop.
I promise you I will try to let you live your life without telling you how it will be, as long as you ask for help when you are confused. There is a lot I will not be able to give you, but a lot I can. All you ever have to say to me is, "Dad, can we please talk?" And we will.
I didn't know what I was going to be able to teach you if I still had residual doubts in my own life. The thing is, I'm going to try to not put my past on you. I want you to find your own way, and I want to help, too. There are things that may not be easy for you, and I may be able to help. But I'll try not to make my struggles your struggles.
After your sister was born, I thought I might not have enough love to give to another. And then you came. And I had enough love for you both, and Mommy too. Any fears I had before of having a son are now gone, and so are any memories of a full life without you. I'm only going to put pressure on you to do one thing...be happy.
So today I try to put down my own baggage, and help you avoid your own.
Happy Birthday, sweet boy. On this, your second birthday, I wish for you a life filled with the kind of love your Mommy and I feel for you.
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.