The Story of You

The Story of You

I am sitting in the delivery room with your mother and it’s 12:35 a.m. on February 4, 2018. She is in so much pain and I’m watching her thinking, “I would do anything to make her pain go away.” We still have a long way to go, but all the nervous feelings I had about you coming are gone, and all that’s left is excitement for you, and guilt/pity for your mom.

It’s 12:54 a.m. She’s sleeping now. She got an IV of something that should control her pain a little and let her sleep. I wish I could bottle this night up and show it to you when you’re older and acting out. If I tell you to do something and you don’t do it, we’ll handle that. But if your mom tells you do something, after tonight…. well, I’m on her side.

The nurses are telling us that you are one of the most active babies they’ve seen come through. I really hope that doesn’t mean you are going to be a wild child when we bring you home and keep us up all night. I guess as long as you’re healthy, I will take some abuse when it comes to letting us sleep.

It’s funny, but all I want right now are 1.) for your mom to make it through this and 2.) for you to be healthy and have functioning lungs and a beating heart, ten fingers and toes, and all that jazz. When we first got pregnant, we worried about whether you’d be a cute baby and whether we’d be able to tell if you were or you weren’t. We were afraid we’d be the parents who were blinded by the fact that you were ours, and couldn’t tell that you were an ugly baby (they do exist!). Now, all I care about is that you come out breathing, and that we figure out enough to keep you breathing when we take you home.

Your grandparents and family all want to meet you. The Whitts are all out to dinner right now and sending your mother and I video of them celebrating. The Rauchs are at home and sending their love — your grandma (step-monster as she likes to say to me) sends her love, hugs, kisses, prayers, and just about everything else she has in her to you, and your grandpa is so excited to have a grandson. The Butlers are all spread out — you’ll get to know that about them — but want to meet you more than anyone I know. Your mom and your grandma were talking to each other when she was hooked up to IV’s and I could see the emotion welling up in your mother. They are flying in to town tomorrow to meet you, and don’t be surprised if your grandma never wants to let you go. Your grandpa Jim will have a lot to teach you — he is one of the most honest people I’ve ever met (sometimes to a fault), but he is among the most important people I’ve ever known.

What I love is that everyone has been writing to us all night asking about you, your mom, and how everything is going. You will be loved by more people in your life than you will ever realize, and I hope that you will give it back to them however you can.

Now it’s 9:15 p.m. You are lying on your mother watching the Super Bowl with us. There was so much that happened today that we can get into some day, but you came at 10:48 a.m., very suddenly. You got to meet your Grandma and Grandpa Whitt, Uncle Jordan and Tyler, and Aunt Georgia and Paige. You got to talk to Grandma and Grandpa Butler. You’ll probably call them something different when you grow up, and I will be excited to learn what that is.

You were nice enough to sleep through most of the day, and have absolutely stolen our heart. When we first saw you, your mother and I both cried. Since then, you’ve been nothing short of amazing and are setting the bar pretty high for what is yet to come.

The story of you starts with the story of us — me and your mother, and all the wonderful people in your life who will love you like there are no limits. The story of you changed the story of us, and I’m excited to share the new story of us with you as you grow.

2-4-18

The First Letter to my Son

I remember being in high school and having notebooks full of poetry. One of the poems I wrote was titled “To my Son,” and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it said. The point is, I think I’ve always known I was going to have a son. I think there are a lot of things I feel like I am supposed to teach you and make up for some of the things I missed out on growing up. I know we will have a lot of time to talk about anything and everything as you grow up, but there are a few things I want you to know before you arrive.

You have a lot to live up to. Your mother is an amazing person who will love you more than you will ever understand. Her love will test you, but that is something that will only make you the best version of yourself. She will expect great things from you, as will I, and she will teach you how to get the most out of yourself. She is many other things that I’m sure will come up later, but for now, just know that you have to be nice to her because she loves you more than anyone in the world.

Selfishly, I want you to be a lot like me. I want you to like the things that I like, and think the way that I think (your mother would probably disagree, but you’ll find that to be the case sometimes). I am probably going to try to teach you things that you already know, or don’t think are very important. But if there are three things I can convince you are important so that you can be the best version of yourself that you can be, it is to be confident, considerate, and reliable.

Be confident with girls, sports, school, business, friendships, and hobbies. Do not let doubt or fear keep you from trying new things and allow yourself to fail if it means that you will try again. Confidence will take you places that you want to go, and will open doors that might not otherwise be open.

But also be considerate. Always consider the angles, whether that is someone else’s feelings, or another way to solve a problem. Being considerate means thinking through things and determining the best way to do something. Consider others when you can and make someone else smile.

Finally, be reliable. Be reliable to yourself and to others, especially your family and friends. When you say you will do something, make sure you do it. Being reliable also means being honest, which is something that is earned, not given. It’s a powerful thing when you can say something and see it through; when someone can ask you something and have confidence that if you say you will, then you will.

The last, and most important, thing you have to do in life is to do whatever it is that makes you happy (it’s our unofficial family motto). Do not let anyone else let you think that what makes you happy isn’t important. You will be tested often on this, but if you are true to who you are and don’t let things other people say affect how you think, then you will live a happy life.

Just know that whatever you do in life will make your mother and I proud, and that you will be loved. I can’t wait to meet you and to remind you of all the reasons you are so special.

Three Things to Remember

  • Be nice to your mother, because you will forever be her favorite thing in the world
  • Be confident, considerate, and reliable
  • Do what makes you happy

01-16-18