Today, my oldest son turns 8. An April Fool's baby and boy is he every bit the joker, just like his dad. When he was born, my wife and I were living about 3 hours from my parent's and I called to inform them of the birth of their first grandson. Being the family joker, my mother didn't believe me and, if memory serves, she hung up on me. I had to call back and swear that I wasn't kidding.
We'd been married about 7 years before we started a family. I remember the day that we left the hospital with our little guy secure in his car seat. We arrived home and planted the car seat between us as we sat on the sofa. We looked at each other with that look only new parents can understand - the look of " what now ". Those early days we joked often about the fact that you give birth, maybe get a couple days in the hospital and then go home with an infant. There is no manual or YouTube video to act as a " how to " guide. The parental instinct just kicks in and all you know, or thought you knew, is about to change. Your world becomes that child. No longer are you afforded the ability to impulsively take off for a weekend backpack. You also realize that you will now put up with a much larger amount of grief at work than your previous childless self would have tolerated. You happily come to the realization that you have a child to raise and nothing else seems to matter.
I look back at the past 8 years with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. Sometimes it's been tough but I try to keep things in perspective. I have 2 boys and am very fortunate that my wife has been able to stay home with our children during these initial years. There are stretches when it hasn't been easy but I'd be lying if I said I would rather have had her working than being with our boys.
So today I say - Happy 8th Birthday D-man - I marvel at you every day, wish you nothing but a wonderful childhood and am proud to call you my son. Love Dad!