Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Best Day

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.


Anonymous said...

Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Murray.

Chance said...

Happy Birthday, Luke!

John Jocher said...

Murray and I went to a book signing for one of our favorite authors together the evening he found out that Sylvia was pregnant and he was going to be a dad. I remember when we were sitting there together and he leaned over to tell me. Rare are the moments when someone has such wonderful, lifechanging news that they've just discovered and you get to be one of the first with whom it's shared. To be able to enjoy the excitement of that day is something that I will always remember about Luke that makes his birthday special to me. Happy Birthday, Luke

John Jocher

Anonymous said...

Contrast the author of this blog to the author of a blog with a similar name. Murray, is a proud father who loves and supports his son. The author of the other blog fought paternity and refused to support one of his children. Any man who refuses to support his kids should be flogged

Anonymous said...

Excellent Story M. I share one of my favorite poems written about Kids:

Children are Like Kites
by Erma Bombeck

You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.

You run with them until you are both breathless.They crash. They hit the rooftop.You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.

You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them thatsomeday, they will fly.Finally, they are airborne;They need more string and you keep letting it out;

But with each twist of the ball of twine,There is a sadness that goes with joy.The kite becomes more distant and you know it won't be long before thatbeautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you two together andwill soar, free and alone.

Only then do you know that you did your job.

L. Standley, "A Dad"