… my son was born.
In some ways that is no time at all and yet in other ways, it seems like I can’t remember a time without him in my life.
To say becoming a father has been a revelation to me is an understatement.
I’ve written about this before, but it blows my mind how much I love being Otis’ Dad.
I always thought the fun would begin when he could talk and waddle along but I was wrong.
In some ways, I would love to keep him as he is right now.
Not because he has to go wherever I want to go.
Nor because he has to watch whatever I want to watch.
And it’s certainly not because I have an obsession with changing nappies.
It’s because I recognise this as a very special and precious time in his development.
You see right now, the majority of his development – poor bugger – is coming from us.
I get to see, in real time, how he is learning. Or what he has yet to learn.
Watching him realise those things at the end of his arms can do stuff is amazing – even if it means I get smacked in the face by them 10,000 times a day.
And watching him look at himself in the mirror and not realise it’s him, even though he sees – and recognises – his Daddy is wonderful.
It’s also a bit disturbing [I hope he doesn’t turn into a thicko] but it’s wonderful just the same.
Then there’s listening to him make sounds.
Not the ones where it’s a tsunami of shit entering his nappy, I mean the ones where he is trying to communicate with us.
I knew I would love that, but I never realised how much.
Seeing my son literally see and experience things for the very first time is a privilege I never truly appreciated until it started happening and now I never want it to end … which is another reason why I’d love to keep him as he is, even though I know at every stage his of development, I’ll be wishing he stayed just like that too.
But nothing – and I mean nothing – beats the feeling of sheer joy I get when he wakes up.
Apart from the fact he is a happy baby [he obviously takes after his Mum in that regard] when he sees me, he literally shakes like a mad man, excited to see me.
How do I know he’s excited?
Because he always has a massive smile on his face.
It is single-handedly the most beautiful, wonderful, magical feeling I’ve ever had.
That’s not to demean the countless other beautiful, wonderful, magical feelings I’ve had … but this is something else.
A few weeks ago, I came home very late and he was fast asleep.
I leant over him and said “goodnight little Oty”, to which his big, beautiful eyes immediately slammed open.
There he was, lying on his back, looking straight up at me. No blinking. Just staring.
There was a slight pause before his legs and arms started shaking up and down, left and right while making a bunch of weird – but delightfully cute – sounds while giving me a massive smile before he then reached out with his little hand and starting feeling my face.
How I didn’t burst into tears at that moment, I’ll never know – but it was a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Literally for the rest of my life.
Of course I know one day all this will stop – both because of his development and that he’ll go through a phase where he thinks his Dad is a stupid pain-in-the-ass – and that will make me very sad indeed … but even if I only received this single moment of happiness from him each day, I’d still say having him has been better than I ever imagined, so when you take into account all the other stuff he gives me, it’s no surprise I am so happy he’s here and why I am so proud to be his Dad.
So happy 6th month birthday my little Otis, you’re a wonderful, wonderful boy but please don’t grow up too fast, it’s already happening far too quickly for my liking.
Otis hugging his Nonna
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