Eight years ago today, my life forever changed.
My son Tommy was born at 1:18 PM at a hospital in Melbourne, Florida. My little drinking hobby had me hungover as hell, but it didn’t matter. I was so excited. I remember the Blues Brothers was playing on the hospital TV, and I thought that was so friggin cool. For a fleeting moment, I thought about suggesting to my wife that we name him Jake. Or Elwood. Needless to say, she was busy pushing the kid out, so I decided it might not be the best time to bring up changing the kid’s name. She also allowed me to give him a middle name after one of my favorite rock stars, Warren Zevon, so I wasn’t going to push my luck.
During my wife’s pregnancy, I had actually made it to every one of her pre-natal appointments, sonograms, instagrams, and whatever else she had going on. Needless to say, I felt pretty involved throughout her whole pregnancy, but this was it, man. It was go time. No more being on the sidelines. Or in the catcher’s position for that matter. In that instant, I became a full time, bona fide, level one, grade A, Dad.
And I immediately thought I was gonna puke.
Now, it quite possibly could have been how my body was reacting to not having had alcohol for close to 24 hours, but it was more than likely due to the fact that fatherhood jumped up and gut punched me.
All of a sudden, I had this tiny, weird looking little human to take care of and protect. I remember being just so in love and amazed with this little guy. I thought he was absolutely perfect. And to make it even better, he even had all his little fingers and toesies. I felt so completely blessed.
Then he pooped on me and I’m all like “what the fuck? Here, you take it…” and I tossed him back to my wife.
My wife and I went on to have two more kids together, and I’m forever grateful to Tommy, because he was both the guinea pig and the crash test dummy that made me a better Dad for his brother and sister. And he came out of it relatively unscathed, and has grown to be a pretty cool little man. I really couldn’t ask for a better kid, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Especially for his Minecraft skills. He’s some sort of an expert at that game. Probably due to spending 19 hours a day playing it.
Kidding, of course. I’m proud of him for much more than stupid Minecraft.
In the past eight years, he’s grown into such a handsome, respectful, little dude. He’s my right hand man, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. We’ve roughed it out camping together throughout the wild jungles of Florida. We’ve stayed awake all night on those camping trips, wide eyed, and nervously peering out the tent flaps, scared shitless by my stupid campfire stories about werewolves and bigfeets. We’ve fallen off surfboards and almost drowned each other. We’ve accidentally peed on each others leg, standing at the urinal of an overcrowded restroom. We’ve even had our disagreements…usually surrounding such things like bedtime, and why it’s probably not the best idea to eat an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting. But there’s not a night that goes by that he doesn’t ask me for a hug and kiss good night. I am truly a better man because of him.
Well, I’ve gotta cut this short. Not because I couldn’t think of more things to say, but because apparently he decided to flick a booger on his sister, and she’s currently giving him a birthday beating of epic proportions.