They say you’ll never forget the day your child was born and they’re right. I still remember 8 years ago today, that massive, purple kid being dropped into my arms and quietly staring at me in the waiting room, trying to figure out what the heck I was. I remember talking to him as I waited for my wife to get out of surgery. I remember the realization that my life would never be the same. I remember the great love I felt in that moment.
But there was something else I felt that was heavier than the baby or the life change itself. We had decided to wait until the baby was born to find out what the gender was—one last surprise. And I remember the weight of those words being declared during the C-section: “It’s a boy!”
I was excited, but somehow those words caused me to think of all the “male-like” ways I had ever been tempted or messed up throughout life and I was immediately hit with this feeling of, “I need to work hard be a good dad so my son won’t have to go through the same things I did.” It was like I was suddenly holding myself in my arms, staring into my own eyes.
So far, my streak as a father has had its ups and downs. Sometimes I’m on it, other times I’m not. Sometimes I wonder if he’ll try to copy our adventures with his own kids some day, and sometimes I wonder if my parenting skills will come up in a therapy session of his when he’s my age.
But whether I nail it or fail it on any given day, I love you Beckett. And I will continue to lean into the weight of fatherhood to better be what you and God have both called me to be. Happy birthday.