Six years and one day ago my life changed dramatically when my son was born. Prior to that, the best day of my life was fourteen years ago when I was lucky enough to marry my best friend, Francine.
But on July 7, 2004, the special bond between Francine and I grew when a new person entered our lives and brought with it pleasures that we could barely even imagine before. I mean, we knew that we were going to love being parents, but nobody had ever been able to properly capture just how awesome the experience would be.
Despite having a nasty sinus infection, bronchitis and being told I was close to pnemonia as I was heading into a stretch of time off, this has been an absolutely fantastic week. Why? Because I've gotten to spend most of it with my son.
Yesterday, on his birthday, instead of doing all the house-chores we had planned for my time off, we did the fun stuff that Alexander was wanting to do. We started with breakfast in bed, moved on to watching a morning movie (one he'd been wanting that Mommy left on the kitchen counter for him as a birthday surprise before heading off to work) in the cool downstairs basement, then heading out to the Chuck E. Cheese in Cambridge for lunch and some fun playtime, then a bit of backyard work on the pool combined with a fun swim. When Fran got home from work it was time for a fun BBQ, chocolate cake, an oodle of phone calls to wish Mr. Man a happy birthday, and then the opening of presents and lots and lots of playtime with the new toys and a fun pre-bedtime reading of a couple of picture books.
Yesterday might have been my son's birthday, but I was the one receiving the greatest gift of all -- time spent with my son. When, upon finishing his breakfast in bed, he said "Can we always do this on my birthday?" I said, "Of course," and though I was saying "yes" to the breakfast in bed, I had already begun thinking that I should pre-book off every single July 7th for at least the next time years so I can spend that fun time with my son.
This week's HNT features a few special shots. The first is a picture of Alexander from a few weeks ago holding up two notepads he had made at the kitchen counter while I was doing the dishes. I finished the dishes and turned towards him to find he'd made a "Dad" and "Alex" pair of notepads using the special sticky letters that came with the notepad pack. I was extremely touched.
And a few mornings ago, while I was working on the computer in the den, he took some paper, a stapler and a few pens and highlighters and drew me a special picture of the two of us that I absolutely adore. (That's a hat on my head, BTW - he explained that he got tired and stopped drawing the hat -- that he might get back to it one day. Frighteningly reminiscent of some of the writing projects that seem to take me forever to finish)
And the final picture is a shot of Alexander with his birthday cake last night. No, there's no picture of me, as HNT is supposed to include (except perhaps for the sketch of me as drawn by my son) -- however, this final shot below is indeed a picture of the very best part of me -- my wonderful, beautiful son. The little guy who has ultimately enriched my life and continues to enrich my life each and every day.
I've said it before but it bears repeating. I'm one extremly lucky guy.