Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dear Charlie: August 26, 2012

Charlie:
  It feels good to actually title these blog posts to you. Before, your mom and I skirted around a name, for a couple of reasons. First, we didn't want to settle on a name we might not use. How embarrassing would it be, son, if you read these, and they were addressed to someone else? Once we did stumble on your name (Funny Story: We were walking the dog around a little community beside our apartment complex, when we decided to name you Charles Rhys. I assumed we were inspired, until a few days ago. Mom and I took you out for your first stroll. Feeling nostalgic, we went to that same community, where the first street's name is Charles Field! So, if you ever feel derisive about your name, you can mutter, "I was named after a street..."), we didn't want to broadcast it. Mom said, "Let's wait to tell people, in case we change our minds."
  But now, you're here, and your name is set. What a blessing you are! Charlie, you're amazing. Mom and I are not a little obsessed with you. When you came into this world, I burst into tears. I know that's not the manliest statement, but after you came out, mom and I just looked at each other, laughed, and started to cry. It took a little over 22 hours of labor, and it was an emotional and physical roller coaster. It's probably out of my field of experience to discuss the labor. I was there the entire time, but it was your mother who went through untold extremes. You should talk to her, and she'll tell you the whole story. It is not my place to give play by play, nor color commentary.
  Charlie, I love being your dad. Sure, you've peed on me a few times, and stay up most the night. You go through diapers as if you're an economic terrorist. My favorite (and I use that word quite ironically) moments is when I just finish changing you, and within five seconds, I see a look of consternation. I hear the moving of bowels, and I hang my head.
  All undiscretionary revelations of pooping aside, I find myself more restless at night, and not because you are awake. No, I find myself getting up to check on you. I want to- have to- make sure you're breathing. And every time I do, I'm reminded of a poem someone wrote in a poetry workshop. He made a list of worries, observations, and actions any potential father should become aware of. As I reach down to place a hand on your chest, I think on how incredibly observant Jason's poem is. You are breathing every time, but I have to make sure you're safe.
  I'm your dad.

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