Four years ago today, we were on our way to becoming dads, and we didn’t know it yet. Our son was born, and waiting to meet us. It was a few days later that we learned his birth mother had chosen us, and just four days after he was born when we carried him out of the hospital. I remember what it was like, holding him in my arms as we walked down the hallway and towards the sliding doors, to step out into the world for the first time as a family of three.
I was a little hesitant. It had felt so safe to be in the nursery with him, getting acquainted while the friendly nurses showed us how to bathe him, change his diaper and give him a bottle. (We’d taken two infant care classes before, but it was nice to have a refresher.) But eventually it was time to go, and as we made our way towards the exit, I got my first experience of being a gay dad as I watched the faces of the people smiling at us as we came down the hall, and retaining their smiles while I could see them “doing the math” regarding our family. I looked down into the incredibly tiny little bundle in my arms and … well, I can’t adequately described what I felt. But something changed in me.
I think something changed for both of us that first night. We stood an watched him sleeping in his crib, unable to speak. I know we both got up at least a few times to make sure he was still breathing. We became dads. We, the three of us, became a family.
Last night we made strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing (Parker’s choice) for him to share with his classmates today. Parker watched them go in and out of the oven, standing far enough away to be safe, but close enough to smell the strawberry scent. Tonight we’ll give him the toys his grandparents sent for him. Tomorrow we’ll have another celebration with friends. And the next day we’ll have dinner, do laundry, wash dishes, read stories, play with trains go for a nature walk, and have bath time. And the day after that we’ll get up in the morning, have some yogurt, watch Bob the Builder and Clifford the Big Red Dog before heading out for another day. And then we’ll come home, have dinner, read stories, play with trains, and get ready for bed.
And the next day…
Well, you get the picture. Today is special, because it means Parker was on his way to becoming part of our family and we were on our way to becoming a slightly bigger family. So, today is a celebration.
And everyday we’re becoming a family. So some part of every day is a celebration too.
Happy birthday, Parker. And thanks.
Daddy & Papa love you. Always. Forever.