On Two Months

On Two Months

Reags, I promise I won’t post something about you every month. Today you are two months old, and as cliché as it is to say “how much you’ve grown” in that short amount of time, it doesn’t make it any less true. After the first month, you were still this tiny, delicate thing that just kind of ate, pooped, and slept. Now, you are a bigger, stronger, slightly less tiny thing that still mostly eats, poops, and sleeps.

Speaking of sleep, last night you slept the longest you over have! I think it was probably 7 hours in between feedings. Your mom and I didn’t know what to do. We woke up after six hours or so, and weren’t sure if we were supposed to wake you up to feed you, or let you sleep. We decided to let you sleep, and 30 minutes later, we woke up and had the same conversation. Finally, after seven hours, you woke up enough to feed, then fell right back asleep. Your mom just texted me as I’m writing this and told me you’re still sleeping! C-H-A-M-P!

Things you like

Baths – no matter how upset or frustrated you are, once you get in the bath, you are a happy, naked dude

Bouncing on your ball/chair – actually, you love being held while your mom or I bounce you on your ball. You also love your bounce chair. When all else fails, bounce!

Letters from your GM – about every week or two, your GM writes you a letter that you are saving for a scrapbook. You might not know you love it yet, but you will

Kicking feet – whether you are in your chair or on your back in your play gym, you love kicking your feet

Dancing to Dad’s music – nothing against John Legend, Justin Timberlake, or Beyoncé (God forbid), but when you and I put on Bob Dylan or The Wood Brothers and dance around, you seem to enjoy yourself

Things we need to work on

Relationship with Rogue – I think you two like each other, but we need to work on calming him down when you get upset. Don’t worry, your mom and I have a plan

Nighttime routine – once you go to sleep, you’re out. But your mom and I would love it if it didn’t take two hours for you to get there

Other than that, you’re pretty perfect for two months, little man. You keep growing and staying healthy, and your mom and I will keep doing everything we can to keep you happy, healthy, and smothered in love.

04-04-18

 

On Being a Son

On Being a Son

There is a song by Lee Brice called, “Boy.” I remember your mom told me to listen to it when she was very pregnant with you and she told me it made her cry. Naturally, since everything from Crest commercials to reality TV shows made her cry at that point of the pregnancy, I told her I’d listen to it and didn’t think too much more about it. But then I saw the video of the song and it made me tear up a bit too.

I think a lot of people make a big to-do about what it means to be a father, but there are things you need to do to be a good son, as well. I am lucky enough to be the son of two different dads, which is something I am proud of but something that I never want for you. Being a son doesn’t stop when you turn 18, or when you have a child of your own.

I understand you might not read this until you are older. And I hope that anything I might say to you now I will have the ability to teach you so that by the time you read this, these things are already ingrained into you.

Be honest

One of the most important things you can do as a son is to be honest with people, especially to your family. You are going to do things you aren’t proud of when you’re young and as you grow older, but a good man owns his mistakes and lives with the consequences. No matter what you do in life, no matter how bad, your mom and I will love you through it and help you however we can.

Try Hard

Your mother and I are going to spend a lot of energy trying to teach you how to use your brain and your abilities to make you into the best version of yourself, just like my mom and dads did for me. “Try hard” doesn’t mean you have to always get straight A’s or be the best one on your team, but it means that when you put your effort into something, put all your effort into it.

Be Polite

Kindness is the best reflection on your mother and I that we could ask from you. If you love and value your parents, be polite to everyone and show that you are a good reflection of us.

Find what you love and do it

The most important thing you can do to be a good son is to do the things that make you happy. Your mother and I will live through your joy and want nothing but the best things for you. Do not settle, and use every opportunity you can to find what you love, and surround yourself with people and things that will allow you to keep that love and make a life around it.

You don’t have to set the world on fire to be a good son. You’ve already showed me that you like dancing with me to good music (not that John Legend isn’t good music, but when you calm down to Tangled Up in Blue, it makes my heart happy). Your mom and I will do our part by setting a good example, and your grandparents will make sure you are showered in love. Your job is to just be the little man you are destined to be, follow your arrow, and be the best son you can be — I know you will!

03-14-18

On your Grandmother

On your Grandmother

There will be a lot of people who will be a part of your life. Your mother and I will probably be the most important, at least until you meet a girl, fall in love, and make a little blog like this one of your own. But your GM Whitt will be one of the most important people in your life, because she has been one of the most important people in my life.

You are lucky enough to have many grandmas and grandpas, and all of them will love you like crazy from now until forever. And I will talk about all of them at some point so you know where you came from and understand all the people who love you and who will shape your life.

But this is about your GM Whitt, and it’s no coincidence that this is being posted on her birthday. She is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. She is one of six children, and had to take on a lot of responsibilities helping to raise her brothers and sisters when she was just a kid herself. She has always wanted the best for herself and for her family, and you are so lucky that she will want the best for you, and she will show you how to get the best out of yourself.

You won’t meet anyone as committed as your GM Whitt. When I was younger, she sat through double-header baseball games, sometimes with your uncle Tyler and/or Aunt Paige when they were babies just so she could watch me play. She was able to move your uncle Jordan and I to Florida and get us acclimated to a new state and new school and new friends, all while going to school for he PA degree. She was bettering our lives by taking on so much, and she did it while still making sure we were having fun and having a childhood.

Your GM Whitt is super funny, too. I think she learned how to be funny from me, aka her favorite child. I think that means that since I am her favorite child, and you are my favorite child, the transitive property says you are the favorite grandchild (sorry McKinley and Cora!). She has a great sense of humor and, no pun intended, has more wit than anyone else. She can be sarcastic and caring at the same time, and she knows how to make everybody feel included, loved, and welcome wherever she goes.

Everyone’s age changes on their birthday, but your GM Whitt changes age differently than most. Last year she was 37, and this year she’s 43. It’s kind of a “wake up and see how old you feel” kind of thing for her most years, but she always looks years younger than whatever age she thinks she is every year.

I hesitate to say this, but your GM Whitt will give you anything you want. If you tell her you want to see the Pacific Ocean, she will book the two of you a trip in a week to fly out and book a hotel right on the water so you would wake up and it would be the first thing you saw. She writes letters to you and your cousins every week and mails them to you because she wants you to feel loved at all times. I hope that the two of you develop a special relationship and you let her take you on all kinds of exciting adventures like she did with me when I was young. She’s even taking you to England this fall for your first big adventure!

So be sure to tell your GM Whitt that you love her as often as you have the chance. Draw her a picture and pick her flowers and tell her that she’s pretty whenever you can. Find something that is special to the two of you. Make as many memories as you can with her, because those will be the best memories. Snuggle on her and sing to her and make her feel as special as she is whenever you can, because she will do all those things for you, plus so much more.

02-27-18

 

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