Monday, September 20, 2010

A Lesson from Fatherhood

My little boy is now 23 days old, and I am so grateful that he is here and that he's healthy.

People always tell you that you can't understand a parent's love until you become one, and I wholeheartedly concur. I absolutely adore my son, and I love him like nothing before. I assert that it is impossible to have a child and not love him/her with all your heart.

People also always tell you that when you become a parent you reflect on the relationship you have with your own parents and become more grateful for them. I now know that is also true. I don't know where I'd be without the love and support from my angel mother. I love my own dad. I also love my step-dad, Irvin. He, too, has seen me through a lot.

I just wish I had had a better relationship with my father before he passed away in June. I didn't even speak to him the entire month before we lost him, and that will always be painful for me.

When I was a kid he used to tell me how much he loved me, but the older I got the less we talked and the less I believed that. And I don't know whether to say I "could have" or "should have" had a better relationship with him, or if I should say anything at all. I made some efforts, but was offended. And he made some efforts, but was also offended.

Sometimes I wondered just how important I was to him.

But now I know.

Whatever happened between the two of us for whatever reason, I know my dad loved me. Having my son now has helped me realize that. I mean, my wife and son have been out of town for four days and I miss them like the dickens. Seriously, I cannot wait to have them back home tomorrow. But I went months at a time without even talking to my dad, and I only saw him a few times in his final years.

I can only imagine how terrible that was for him.

My boy yells and wiggles and stinks and won't let us put him down, and I can't get enough of it. I'm so proud of every little thing he does. I love that he gets startled when I cough and he shoots his hands into the air. I love the kissy face he makes. I love his pirate look when he just opens one eye, and I cannot wait to continue to learn more about him and from him.

I still have unanswered questions about why there was such a distance between my dad and me, but now I'm sure that lack of love was not the reason no matter what may have occured.

I am also sure that neither hell nor high water will keep me from my wife and son, and I will do my very best to make sure my son will never ask the same questions I did.