By Devon Tresher:
As I write this, you are fast asleep in your crib. In the next room, your mom is also asleep with your baby brother (who has yet to be named) tucked safely inside her womb. We spent the morning in Callalisa Creek together, stomping through the mud, catching crabs and snails, and floating in the warm water. As the three of you sleep, I’m in the living room quietly reflecting on the past 2 ½ years. Our life before you now seems a distant memory, almost as if it was a dream that never really happened.
You came into this world on a cold January morning with great anticipation. Your mother and I were only a few months removed from an around the world adventure, and that day essentially marked the culmination of that adventure and the beginning of a new one. Come to think of it, the morning you were born should have clued me in to just the kind of adventure we were embarking on.
We knew of course that your birth was imminent, and I was awakened in the wee hours of that morning by your uncomfortable, nine months pregnant mother. She couldn’t sleep, and seemed to be in a bit more discomfort than usual. To be safe I decided to get up and load the truck so we were ready to go to the hospital. No huge rush though, we clearly had hours if not days still before we needed to get there. After all, everyone had assured us there would be no doubt when she was actually in labor, and this clearly wasn’t it yet. Plenty of time for me to go and dump the fish guts I had in the cooler in the bed of my truck from fishing the day before. After giving myself a black eye when the lid of the cooler fell open as I loaded it back into the truck, I returned home five minutes later to, “We need to go now,” with a sudden urgency behind it. Thirty minutes later when I missed the exit for the hospital (I blame highway construction and poor signage) the tone went from urgent to borderline frantic. Once we made it to the hospital, we found out that not only was this labor, but the very end stages of it, and you were born thirty minutes later. That’s how you entered the world, fast and furious. You decided that you were ready, and out you came. It has been that way ever since.
I had previously felt confident of my place in the world and the person I had grown to be. But soon after your mother and I brought you home, I began to realize that everything I had done in life to that point was really just preparing me to be your father. Nothing else mattered. You had given my life a purpose that I never realized it lacked. I know now that being your, and your brother’s dad is the most meaningful and important thing that I can be. I don’t know that a man can have any greater purpose. If I never accomplish anything else in life, I am proud beyond words to be your father.
I recall being very young and my own dad (that’s Boppy to you) telling me that I wouldn’t understand how much he loved me until I had children of my own. At the time I thought he was wrong, that I did understand. After all, he and my Mom (your Ci Ci) were my whole world. They did everything for my brother, sister and I, and I loved them with all my heart. But now when I think about you, I know that he was right, and finally I do understand.
In the two years and five months since that January day, sharing the wonders of life with you has been our primary objective. Our time has been filled with bike rides, beach days, walks around the block and through the woods, and every wild thing we can find along the way. We’ve howled at the moon, pointed out the stars, planted trees, and captured all sorts of creatures. I love to see your excitement when I show you something new, or when you remember something we’ve seen before. You’ve been my sidekick almost everywhere I go. It hasn’t all been easy… in fact it’s been very hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also been the best time of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Actually, I could do without all of the Disney songs stuck in my head at all hours of the day and night, but you get my point.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day. We will spend the morning at Battle Island with Ci Ci and Boppy, Uncle Ehren and Aunt Leslie, and your cousins Layla and Josie. As I watch our little family blossom, I am filled with pride. I know the day will come all toosoon when you’re too big for me to carry around anymore, or ride in your seat on the front of my bike. As much as I wish time could stand still and you could be our little wild man forever, I am so excited to watch as you and your brother grow into your own little people. There are so many adventures awaiting us! For right now though, I’m going to do my best to soak up the present. There will be time as you and your brother grow to impart what wisdom and knowledge I think I’ve gained in life upon you. All you need to know right now is that it is not possible to love someone more than your mother and I love you.