Today is my son’s birthday. Quite a few of them have gone unremarked in this space, but never have they been unremembered.
To say our relationship has been strained over the years would be an understatement. I’ve not always been the best of fathers, and for that I can offer no apology. My choices led to my results, and that’s time I can never get back.
But the first day of his life was one of the best of mine. I saw things that day I will never forget, felt things I can’t explain. The sight of my son lying in a hospital crib with his eyes closed was like looking at an otherworldly being. Ten fingers, ten toes was my only wish, but I got so much more in the moment when a tiny hand reached up and wrapped around my thumb. The slightest of squeezes sealed my fate, and I fell in love with a person I did not know.
Today that tiny child is a man, with his own life and own challenges. He’s a better person than I could have ever hoped he’d be, full of vision and hope and plans for the future. When I was his age, I had already left behind several sets of dreams. He’s just now reaching for his own, and I wish him all the best.
I love you, son. Happy Birthday. And never let old men like me tell you that you can’t have everything you want from life.