Parenthood is an absurd undertaking. It’s a complete change in lifestyle, an overall adjustment in perspective and a rebellion on all that you once viewed as normal. It is, as many will tell you, absolutely tough as nails. You spend the better part of nine months preparing for something you have no real business preparing for, because the reality is, nothing can prepare you. I’m not talking about the sleepless nights. I’m not talking about the endless diaper changes or the seemingly never ending feedings. I’m not even talking about the crying or the inability to do as you please. I’m talking about the immense amounts of love that will undoubtedly fill your soul the second your child is born.
I worried about what being a parent would entail and if I was even cutout for such an important responsibility. But, the second my son was born my free fall into parenthood began and I knew there was no turning back. No longer was I just a son, brother and husband, I was, in a matter of just a few seconds, a father.
Words can never describe the feelings that run through you the first time you hold your child in your arms. Everything that seemed important before suddenly vanishes in an instant. You realize that somehow, someway, you were meant to be a parent. You may not necessarily know how you are going to do it but you don’t care because you just know that you will, in fact, do it.
The love you feel for your child is indescribable. It’s what allows you to wake up in the middle of the night when all you want to do is sleep. It’s what allows you to change the worst diapers while smiling at your baby as he/she smiles back at you. It’s what keeps you patient when sometimes all you want to do is scream. It’s what makes your former life inconsequential and life without your child unimaginable. It’s love that makes every day spent with your child completely worth it.
I cannot describe the feelings that run through my body the second my son catches my eye in the morning and his face lights up. I grab him, pull him close and for that moment all is right in the world. He bounces around like a wild monkey as I smother him with morning kisses and for a brief moment in time I am his hero. I know that one day these mornings will pass and that he won’t always be excited to see me so bright and early. He won’t always squeal with delight at the sight of me. For now, though, I cherish it.
It seems as though every time I blink he hits a new milestone. One day he’s rolling over, another he is eating his first solid food, and suddenly he’s sitting up. All the while I’m trying desperately to slow down time, because every moment is special, even the bad ones. Every single moment is unique and a memory I will cherish, always.
It is true that nothing can prepare you for a child. Even when you are in the moment as a parent it feels surreal. There’s a love that is completely impossible to explain. It strengthens you. It humbles you. It warms your heart and enriches your soul. It’s not that nothing can prepare for the work that having a child entails. It’s really that nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare for the love you have for your child.