This morning, I was awakened at 6:30 by the sounds of crying. I rolled over to see my oldest son crawling into our bed crying from a bad dream.
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I’m not a morning person, never have been. There are few things I hate more in life than being woke up before it’s time to get up. But, I wasn’t upset with my son at all. Instead, I told him to roll on over by me and we cuddled. His tears subsided, he nuzzled into my armpit and soon his breathing slowed and he was asleep. Safe and sound. Then, it hit me:
This Wouldn’t Happen Many More Times
As my arm fell asleep and started tingling, I was taken back to those long nights sitting up with him because he refused to sleep. I was taken back to one night in particular that pushed me to my breaking point. That one night when I just threw my hands up in surrender and brewed a pot of coffee and held him close to me while playing video games on my computer for the entire night. The next morning, I handed the baby off to my wife and got ready for work.
With his horrible sleep schedule, I remember it felt like I was going through some elaborate torture study. I kept waiting for the men in lab coats to come out with their clipboards making notes and telling me that I somehow passed. But they didn’t. Life went on, and over time, the amount of times he needed me to hold him as he slept diminished.
With his little brother coming along, a whole new world of day-to-day traumas came about. The messes were manifold. The tears, the fights, the messes. Did I mention, that with two of them, they are super messy?
There were days were I was SURE the men in lab coats were going to come out from behind a mirror and either tell me I won…or take me away. haha. But they never did. So, I continued the best I could. I dadded as hard as I could. And then, over time, the dadding got easier. Not because I was getting so good at it, but because my boys were getting older and didn’t need me so much.
Epiphany at 6:30 AM
At 6:30 this morning, I realized that all of those times when they were having some sort of trauma, were all moments when I could rise above my own needs and help them. They were giving me countless ways to express my undying love for them. They were also giving me insight into the man my dad was all those years ago when I would get upset and he would help me out. He might not have ever said, “Son, I love you.”, but he showed me in a hundred different ways.
So, here I am, coming full circle. And I know that the days are coming when they will need me less and less and then almost not at all. So until that day happens, I will continue to be thankful for every spilled drink, every scraped knee, every bad dream, every messy bedroom…every opportunity to tell my boys, #ThanksBaby.