Saturday, January 9, 2010

Something(one) different

When a parent tells you "You don't understand until you have one," they're right.

Understand, I knew fatherhood would be an experience that would forever change me.  I knew that I'd do anything for my child that it needed.  I knew that it would make me love Carrie more.  I knew that it would be the greatest accomplishment of my life. "It" would be great.

I never thought of my baby as an "it," but I never had anything to fill the blank left by my imagination.  Sure, just like everyone else, I would imagine the ways my kid would be different from others and exactly like me.  What I never knew before wasn't the list of experiences.  What I never knew, was Lela.

My mom use to say "You don't understand how I love you, but you will one day."  I used to hate it and love it at the same time.  I felt as if my mom didn't understand how much I loved her in order to say such a thing.  I get it now, I think.

Every day, my kid smiles at me in a way that makes my inevitable death a little less bitter.  Now, I don't mean that I'm looking forward to dying.  What I mean is, just like my wife saying: "You're a good man" calms the deepest part of my soul; seeing my baby girl giggle is an experience that is sweet enough to not need anything more to say I've lived a good life.

Lela reminds me of things I experienced as boy, and gives me a glimpse of what my sweet wife was like before I knew her.  It's amazing.

When my mom used to tell me I didn't understand, I think she was saying a lot of things that Carrie and I feel about Lela.

You will never love us in the same way that we love you, and that's more than okay.

Your smile is enough to make me sentimental.

I'm proud that I had any hand in teaching you about life.

I will never forget the first time you giggled, called us by "Mama" or "Dada," or the feeling of your fingers wrapping around my finger.

Your safety and comfort means more than my own.

You don't understand how we love you, but one day you will.



  1. Wow, I did not anticipate tears while reading a Stephen blog today! Jeez dude, it’s too early in the day for that.