11 years ago my life changed

by Johnny on March 12, 2015

I knew at a very young age that I would be an incredible father.  As I got older that thought soon faded from my mind and I thought that I would never stop partying and being around a lot of people.  I was very happy with the life that I was leading, but then for some reason I thought it would be cool to get married and so I did.  The night of my wedding would set things in motion that would change my life forever- for it was the night my son was consummated.  I know this with 100% certainty because my wife and I slept in separate beds for the majority of our marriage, but one great thing came out of that marriage, my son.  11 years ago my life was blessed with a very healthy baby boy.  I remember the night we found out that we were having a boy.  I had a smile on my face that would last for the next 11yrs.  I’m sure I was like every other father imaging my son would play pro football or become the president.  I was imagining me and him playing and all the things I could teach him, but then anxiety set in and I thought “holy shit, what if I am the worst parent in the world– what if I turn out to be like my father?”  I remember thinking how my father was with me and I remembered telling both my mother and father that the bad cycle stops with me.  I made a promise to my unborn son that I would be the best father I could be and that he, my son, would always come first.  Nine months today is nothing.  Time just seems to fly by so quick that if you don’t stop to appreciate things they will be gone before you know it, but the nine months I waited for my son seemed to last FOR EVVV-ER!!!!  The night he was born I got those feelings I used to get the night before Christmas.  I was definitely nervous that my son would be born with my disease, but luckily he wasn’t and the best part is he had everything where it was supposed to be.

I don’t care what you say, raising a child is no joke.  I promise you that your child will bring you through every emotion and you will become a completely different person, but they can brighten your day up quicker than anything you could imagine.  For the first three years of my son’s life I was a stay-at-home father.  My son and I were connected at the hip– every where I went he went– we were like peanut butter and jelly.  We would pass out on the couch together and like his father when he woke up he needed to be changed and eat.  I would bathe him in the sink, feed him his bottles of milk and watch Sponge Bob with him.  The weird thing is I never once missed going out or hanging out with my friends.  I didn’t want to miss anything my son did.  I would go crazy if I decided to go out and it just happened to be the night that he said papa for the first time; so I stayed home with my son– it was the best decision that I ever made.  I taught my son how to use the potty, his ABC’s and 1 2 3’s, I remember when he first wanted to crawl and how I put a balloon in front of him to get him to crawl.  We used to go for walks in the soccer field by our house and he would always make a bee line for the park leaving me trailing behind.  Gosh, it was so hard keeping up with him at 2 yrs old he was already faster than me.  I think the most important thing I did was hug him and tell him I love him all the time.  He’s 11 now and to this day I hug him and tell him I love him everyday.  Wow, just reading that, just thinking my precious baby boy is turning 11 tomorrow scares me because it only seems like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.  I’m afraid I’m going to blink and he’s going to be getting married.

I had a dream about how things would be when my son was born.  I thought he would see a loving mother and father.  I thought that he would know that he could always turn to his parents to see what love was and he would be the kind of kid that wanted to be like his parents.  I made a promise to break the cycle that my parents were in and I was bound and determined to see that happen.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case.  I failed my son.  I haven’t lived up to the father I wanted to be for him.  I am supposed to lead by example and I have fell short of leading by example.  No one could have predicted that things would end up the way they did, but I did have some control over easing him through the process. As I am writing this I am trying to think of something just one thing my father taught me and I am drawing a blank.  I don’t know why that surprises me, but even if he did teach me something I should remember and I don’t.  Yes, I love my son more than anything on this planet.  Yes, I think my son is the greatest, but being a good father should be more than that.  Trying to raise a man is not as easy as one would think.  I teach my son things like integrity, respect and honesty– things my father never taught me.  I will always have this hidden sadness because I feel I have failed my son, but I promise that no matter I have to do, my son will have integrity, respect, honesty and he will hear I love you from me every day of his life.  My son is the greatest thing I ever did and I hope that no matter what happens he knows how I feel about him.  I hope as time goes I can learn to be the father that I wanted to be in the beginning.

I love you Ethan you more than you will ever know.  I look at you and see nothing but greatness.  I am so excited for your future and I know that you will accomplish anything you set your mind to.  I know you will take the good things from me and leave the bad things alone.  You my son, will break the bad cycles that I haven’t managed to get rid of and you will be a better man than I am.  You will fall hard sometimes and I will be right there to pick up, but remember I am not your boss, I am just here to help you get through this crazy thing called life.  I promise you that at some point you and I are going to have to learn together, but no matter what, I will always be there for you.  No matter how your life turns out, my baby boy, you will always be the greatest in the world.  The sun will never set for you Ethan.  I love you Happy Birthday.

 

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