Well, Bodie, you’re here. And I spent yesterday, your birthday, in a strange time machine, concerned about three generations of people at once.
My parents, who told me stories of my birth with tears in their eyes.
Your mother, who endured the odd sensations of C-Section, pain, and fear.
And you… who got forced into a world you didn’t know and asked to breathe.
Leaving me mostly groundless and unaware of my own age or generation in this march of time. But now I remember, and we should talk about what it means.
I’m now 36 years and a few months. You’re now 36 hours and a few minutes. And this evening you opened your eyes and really tried to focus on me for the first time. I’m sure I’m just a big, blurry, hairy, giant to you, but you know my voice, so just listen.
I promise you we’ll do our best. And it won’t be good enough. We will screw you up in our own particular way. Cause we’re flawed people raising you, a flawed person.
And you’re not going to like us a lot of the time, and that’s fine. Truth is I’m not jumping up and down about you either, so we’re all going to have to learn to live together through this deal.
Many people have told me “Wait until Bodie’s born… “. Expecting me to see your little pink face and decide all my feelings up to that point were irrelevant and now I’m madly in love with my son.
But you may as well learn now I’m not a reactionary guy. Your Dad’s more of a slow burn. Those that know me will tell you it’s gonna take some time. That’s going to annoy you when I’m not nearly as excited about something as you need me to be. But you’re going to really appreciate it when I don’t get as mad as you expected either.
I won’t be cool enough or plugged in enough. I wasn’t even cool when it mattered so I certainly can’t maintain it now. But your mom is way out of my league, and she married me, so I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. Don’t take my word for it, though… ask some friends of mine, and get them to tell you the real truth.
I promise we’ll do stuff. It’ll probably involve mountains. And often include the dog. And we’ll talk about cars a lot so I hope you’ll find them interesting. But if you decide you’re rather learn ballet… that’s fine… just talk to your mom cause the stage is her world. I’ll clap from the audience.
Ultimately, little man… you’ll be an adult at 18, and I’m already twice that age. Which means I’m old enough to know I don’t have this figured out. I’ll do a lot of stuff wrong. But know that even my screw-ups will be with the best of intentions. That won’t help much – but it is true. We will try to make you the best man you can possibly become. And the scars from our mistakes will leave you fodder for some future spouse or therapist.
When you’re 36, come find me and tell me how I did. By that point I’ll be some crusty old guy in his 70s. Hopefully willing and eager to hear the truth.
Plus I’ll probably tell you the story of your birth with tears in my eyes. There will have been time for a slow burn by then. Years of time beyond this moment.
36 and Counting…