Of the three hundred and sixty five days of the calendar year, today (October 26th) is my favorite of them all.
Seven years ago my little boy, Luke, was born. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I remember going to the doctor on October 25th -- the day before. It was a surreal day. Luke's mom and I had gone through the routine visits to the doctor for what seemed like an eternity. We had known all along that he would be a C-section baby, but I don't think either of us were prepared for the doctor saying, "How does noon tomorrow work for your schedule?"
We went to Chuy's after the doctor's visit. I remember the awkward silence of the late lunch. The idea that, "So, tomorrow, we'll have a kid" was a pretty sobering moment. There is something funny about the transition from being an expectant parent to an hours-away-from-being-an-actual-parent that is hard to put into words.
Trying to go to sleep the night before you know your child is going to be born is impossible. I wish I could say that I had profound thoughts going through my head that almost-sleepless night, but really all the thoughts were along the lines of, "I can't believe I'm going to be a dad tomorrow."
We woke up early on the morning of October 26th. I don't remember much about getting in the car and driving to the hospital. For some reason, I remember being stopped at the light off the feeder road to turn on to Fannin. It was a minor detail, really, but something in my head was resonating that once I took this left turn, I was going to be a parent from then on.
Funny, the things you remember.
The time at the hospital seemed to go by in a blur. They had run out of the cool, light-weight surgical scrubs for the dad in the delivery room. I ended up in a heavy surgical smock.
I got called into the delivery room and I remember being nervous. Not nervous about being a parent -- that was still too surreal of a concept for me to grasp at the time. I was nervous because I have a notoriously weak stomach and queasiness that I was deathly afraid would manifest in the delivery room.
Fortunately for all involved, everything moved so quickly that I never had time to pass out.
The funny thing was that it all seemed so bizarre that when I saw Luke being delivered, that I honestly couldn't decipher what I was seeing. I honestly couldn't make heads nor tails of what I was looking at when he was born.
Suddenly, I realized, I was looking at my kid's buttocks as the doctor lifted him up. Upon further examination, he had a full head of dark hair.
Based upon that moment in time, Luke would earn the permanent and affectionate nickname of "Monkey Butt" from me. I still call him that to this day. It may be a bit uncouth for a nickname, but it is all his.
The rest of the moments that followed happened quickly -- the taking of the footprints, the obligatory photos with Mom and Dad. I suppose the drill was standard for all parents of a newborn.
And yet, they were so incredibly personal to us.
So, October 26th marks the seventh anniversary of the best day of my life. It's the day I met my best friend in the world -- Luke "Monkey Butt" Newman.
For every dream, hope, and ambition that I ever had in life, becoming his dad eclipsed them all.
Happy birthday, Little Man.