Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Barnslig! - From Dad

The past year has brought with it many permanent changes in our lives, not the least of which include buying a new home and leaving apartment life behind, becoming engaged to marry, and of course, little Owyn. The past 365 days have shown our lives a kaleidoscope of emotions, scenarios and experiences – but the most trying and rewarding situation of all is that of becoming parents. Observing Owyn as he grows and develops his own little personality has taught us many things about ourselves and each other.

Being a parent inevitably brings with it much joy, laughter, confusion, fear, and sometimes sadness or anger – whether directly attributed to the child and their behavior or resulting from a general tertiary sense of despair in pondering the ways of the world and what it means to raise a child in such a place where the evening “news” has nothing good to say about anything, ever. It is in pondering and weathering such that separates the good parents from the not-so-good parents I suppose, and our response to whatever travails stand in our way is, in the end, what makes or breaks a family.

Like so many unfaithful sports stars have indicated to their better halves’ in their press conferences earlier this year, “for better or for worse” counts for a heck of a lot more under the “for worse” category. It’s pretty easy to take things for granted when everything seems to be going well and there isn’t much to complain about, if anything, but it’s through our trials and tribulations that show us who we really are and gives us a chance to grow into the people we wish we were. Although neither of us are perfect by any stretch of the word, I can bear witness to Chelsea becoming firmly grounded in parenthood and taking on such crushing responsibility with the sensibilities and the comfortable future of our family in mind. As for myself, I believe I have settled into fatherhood somewhat nicely, although I admit our opinions of ourselves and our performance are usually biased to some degree.

One year ago this day, Chelsea and I were in the delivery room anxiously waiting to be thrust into our new roles as parents. And anxious we were. More than anything, we just wanted to see Owyn, and have him come into this world happy and healthy – the top priorities for any parents-to-be, I would assume. And to that end, our prayers have been answered above and beyond our expectations.

The joys of watching Owyn roam the house with found objects in hand while professing his limited knowledge of the world in his own loud secret language are unparalleled. At times I would wish to shelter and ensconce his innocence from the cold miasma of a world we live in, but I would suppose that most things are inevitable. He will be how he will be, and he will find knowledge that I would keep from him - and there is little I can do to change that, other than equip him with the tools he will need to make informed and intelligent decisions... because I won’t always be there, even though I want to be. I digress…

Tonight we are going to Organ Stop Pizza for Owyn’s first birthday! As fortune would smile, our new house is just a stone’s throw away. I hear from a reputable source that their pizza has improved from “Peter Piper Status”  in the years since my last trip there. Hopefully the younger organ player is there tonight, I hear tell that his rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” rivals even the original version in its magnificence. Chelsea is somewhat hesitant to go, but once she experiences the awesomeness for herself, she will be changed forever. She will want to go back tomorrow night, and the next night, and the next and the next… and soon after going there many consecutive nights, our refrigerator will be full of rotten, forgotten food and our bellies will be fat with the fantastic wonders that only a blue-ribbon pizza parlor can provide. As for my baby, he will feast on the untold Ameri-talian delights of pizza, spaghetti and meatballs or perhaps some other pasta dish… he will become very dirty and greasy in an astoundingly short period of time, and he will sleep peacefully tonight (unlike last night, the little rascal).

In the end, it has been a light-speed year of twists and turns, of grandeur and drain, but all in all I think we are doing okay. It’s important in this life to be thankful for what you have, and not resentful over what you don’t. I wish to extend our endless gratitude to all of our friends and family who have helped us out so much over the year – we couldn’t have done this without you!

And Owyn thanks you too!

* Edit - 6:51pm exactly this minute 1 year ago, Owyn was born!