All babies are beautiful.
That is according to every parent or guardian who was ever blessed with a bundle of joy. And of course, all babies are beautiful, what miracle isn’t? But the beauty I speak of is not the soft little cheeks and cute button noses.
It’s the innocent inner-beauty that every child possesses.
After a few years of marriage, my ex-wife and I decided to start a family. Although I knew we were trying to fall pregnant, I was strangely oblivious that it could actually happen. The way she revealed being pregnant caught me completely off guard.
I had recently completed a certificate course and was awaiting my results, due in a few months. My ex-wife arranged a dinner at a restaurant we frequent. She invited my parents and my sister and brother-in-law. Blissfully unaware of any agenda, I had no reason to expect any announcement, especially not something I considered impossible.
Shortly before our starter arrived, my ex-wife presented me with a framed ‘certificate.’ Without so much as a glance at its contents, I thanked her and asked how she had managed to pull it off? I assumed she had somehow managed to get my results and had my certificate framed to surprise me.
She assured me that we were both very much involved and I should take another careful look. Eventually, I grasped it was the results of her pregnancy test. I leapt backwards out of my chair, clearing the backrest. I almost lost my mind with joy, completely humbled and overwhelmed that this could happen to me.
I had taken a bet with my ex-wife that we were having a baby girl, she was sure we were having a boy. Again, I couldn’t imagine me being blessed with a Son as my firstborn. A little over a month from my 28th birthday, our Son was born. My heart leapt out of my chest! I ran laps around the theatre screaming and whooping with joy. From the second he scrunched his tiny face to take his first breath, I was smitten.
Love in overdrive.
A vivid memory of the love I speak of happened a few days after he arrived home from the hospital. Mesmerised, I would spend hours staring at him. The room was dimly lit as I leant over his cot, watching him sleep. A sudden surge of guilt overwhelmed me, almost leaving me breathless. How could I love this little person more than I love my wife? Where did the extra love come from?
I thought I had topped-out on the ‘love-o-meter.’
For as long as a child is under your care, your responsibility is to love them unconditionally. Through abundant love, my Son and I were best friends from the beginning. I spent as much time as possible with him. I wanted to make sure I don’t miss anything. I never wanted to look back and say, ‘If only.’ From baby to toddler, I savoured every moment I could.
As he grew from tweeny to teenager, our relationship grew stronger. He loved sports. Cricket, soccer, golf, rugby, athletics, anything — he wanted to do it all. I loved that he loved sports and encouraged him to pursue whatever drew his fancy. We spent many happy hours in the back-yard practising, kicking, hitting, bowling. I made sure I was at the training grounds and on the side-lines, cheering him on.
I look at the grown man my Son is today and still get butterflies in my stomach. I am in as much awe of the person he is today as I was that day when he took his first breath. My Son is now the proud father of his own Son, my grandson. I see the same awe in my Son’s eyes when he looks at his Son.
How blessed that he sees what I have always seen.
Have an awesome weekend, stay home, stay safe! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on July 11, 2020.