To my Son on his 5th Birthday

To my Son on his 5th Birthday

Dear Tucker,

Five years ago, today, I witnesses you enter the world.

And I cried.

Oh, how I cried. Sobbed, really.

Not because I was sad, or scared, or confused, but because you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and I had no other way of expressing it. You were the special project that Mama and I had worked on together, finally here, and I knew my life would never be the same.

I was right.

That day I gave you your first bath, holding your tiny, wiggly body so, so carefully. That moment was so special to me, because I wanted to show you right from the start of your life that your Dada was someone who you could always trust to hold you safely — that even when you were sad, or scared, or confused, Dada would always be there to hold you. I washed away the gunk from your hair and your body — babies are born pretty slimy! — and marveled at how you could have my nose and Mama’s chin, and yet look so much like a combination of my dear Nana and a crusty sailor. You were full of delightful surprises from the start.

Two weeks ago, today, you started preschool. And this time I held your hand as we walked into your classroom for the first time. After you waved out the Goodbye Window to your little brother and me as we walked away, do you know what happened? We got in the car, and Dada cried again. Just a little.

Again, it was not because I was sad, or scared, or confused. I cried because I was so proud of you and the way you bravely took on this new adventure. I cried because I have been such a lucky Dada to get to spend so much time with you. And yeah, I cried because I am going to miss you.

But mostly I cried because that’s what parents do, it turns out.

I love the little man that you are growing up to be, Tucker.

I love the way you laugh and smile, your joy bubbling forth with such force that you positively dance as you talk about the things that excite you.

I love how you love to learn new things, and how your questions upon question reveal what a thoughtful and reflective kid you are. Oh Lord may that love of learning never cease.

I love the way you dote on your little brother, and the way you strive to be a good example for him. Oh Lord may that never end either.

I love the way you leap into my arms, and let me hold you, like it’s the safest place in the world, where all your cares and worries and fears can be washed away for a time.

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

Happy birthday!

Dada

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