Being a Father is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Everyone says that, right? And everyone means it. I've had my son living with me for over a year now and I have known about him for almost 3 years (having been told nothing of his existence until he was 4). Time flies. But 2010 has been a year where I've really come into my own as a parent. He's lived with me for the whole year. He lost his Mother towards the end of 2009 and so this year was about he and I doing it for ourselves.
And while it's been such a tough year in many respects, it's been amazing insofar as how he and I have developed as a "Father and Son pairing." The first few months I knew my boy, as he was getting to know me and I was learning the ropes, I still didn't feel like a "Dad." I knew I was one and I knew I loevd him more than I had ever loved anyone or anything in my entire life... but I don't think I truly felt like a Dad.
Now, if someone asks me about myself, the first thing I tell them is that I am a Father to a wonderful little boy. And it rolls off the tongue. It's the first thing I think to tell people about myself and it's the most important role I play in the world. This year, he and I have grown incredibly close. I no longer feel like the twenty-something sort-of-a-man-but-who-often-behaves-like-a-teenager-trying-to-be-a-Father type of guy. I AM a Father.
And he is the most wonderful gift I have ever received.
Everyone comments that he's a "mini me." He has a lot of my mannerisms. And I find myself saying to him things my Mother used to say to me (thinks I swore I never would lol)... like "Have you done your homework." Or, "take the coats for the ladies." Or, "Hold the doors for the ladies," or "Look at the state of your school pants? Do you skid along the floor in these things?"
I wasn't the easiest child to parent, by all accounts. I had an answer for everything and was very cheeky. Though I was brought up so well that even with the cheek, I was truly a little Gentleman. Those values were instilled heavily into me and it's something I remain so thankful to my Mother for. Old fashioned chivalry is disappearing and it's sad to see. But I know there were days my Mother could have torn her hair out with me. If she were here now and could see my son she would laugh. Karma?
Because he's brilliant. He really does have an answer for everything. He's got this cheeky little smile and he knows he gets away with murder with it. He's got charm. He can get people (especially women) on his side in almost everything.
My sister found some old photographs of us as kids. On one of them, I am 8 years old and it's like looking at my son now. He has a slightly fairer complex than I do... his Mother having been very pale skinned. But he has the same eyes as I do. Exactly the same. And when he smiles he looks like I do on that photograph, albeit that he certainly has his Mother's chin.
We were standing outside my sister's house the other day, as she went back inside to get the things she forgot. She came back out laughing.
"What?" I asked, feeling cold and impatient.
"You two have the same 'impatient grumpy pose'."
In fact, he stands like me. He uses his arms (just the one at the moment as one is casted up and in a sling) the way I do when I talk. He nods the same way and he even has the same weird dislike of socks I have.
It's so funny to see.
But I'm waffling, aren't I?
This (somewhat long) post, was just an opportunity for me to indugle myself with a "oh god I'm so lucky." It was just a post in which I wanted to tell whoever happens to find it how proud I am of my little guy.
Anything in life that I previously could not understand the purpose of, fits into place with him around. His excitement, his laughter, his smile, the dimples he gets in his cheek when he grins, the face he makes when I know he's up to something... how he insists on dressing up in his business suit if he is coming into my office for a little while... all of his quirks, all that he is and all that he will be, I love.
I love him unconditionally. I never really understood what that meant before but there is cateogrically nothing that he could do that would make me stop loving him. I'd give my life for him without even thinking about it. I would give anything for him. He's my whole world in one tiny little pint sized genius and, just in case it wasn't clear enough, I might just the proudest Daddy on the world.
I love you, son.