It was a day that started like any other. Woke up, got ready and went to work. We had been waiting for so long that life seemed to be more about the waiting than the end result. Nine months of waiting (well, six really. We found out late.) At lunch, I headed home to pick up the missus to go for what we hoped was the last visit to the gynae. My son was a week overdue. When I got home, I had to wait while my wife finished up a meeting. We were anxious. Looking forward to parenthood, but it was something that was ‘going’ to happen, instead of actually ‘happening’. Two hours later, I was in a state of bliss, awe, shock, confusion and borderline panic. I was a father to a very big (4.78kg) baby boy, Kweku.
On that day, I finally found purpose. True purpose. My responsibility became to build a legacy that my son can be proud of. My responsibility became to give him the foundation from which he can achieve whatever he desires. My responsibility became to make it through the rest of my life without messing him up too much. I am the example he will probably try to be like or be the total opposite of. But that’s all the ‘head in the sky’ stuff. It’s great in theory; the reality is always something else. Half the time, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.
I have spent the last two years in awe. I catch myself just watching him, forgetting to tell him “Get down! Stay away from the pool! Don’t throw that! Eat this! Sorry. Don’t cry! Naughty door!”
I smile more. Definitely laugh a lot more. I must admit that while I generally laugh with him, sometimes it is at him. He pulls the strangest, funniest faces sometimes.
I remember saying to my wife that, one day, he would come walking round the corner, calling Mommee and Daddee. He does it every night somewhere between midnight and 2am as he makes the short trek from his room to ours. The other night, I was still up working so I put him into our bed and, before I could say anything, he smiled and said “bye, bye”. And just like that, I was dismissed from my own room.
One minute, he was a baby, next he’s running up and down, climbing anything in his path and giving running commentary all the time. Everything is ‘this’ and ‘that’ but the vocabulary is growing every day. And, every day, there’s another milestone and we are only at two years. I’m still recovering from the fact that he now kicks the ball back to ME when we are playing. Used to be he would either throw or kick it without direction. Now he places it and kicks it to me. I taught him how to bob his head to the music before he was one. Now he has his favourite songs, especially Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow.
School has been hard on all of us, but it is still early days. I love that when I pick him up, he looks at the teacher, points at me and says “Daddee”. I love being a father. I wish this was all I had to do. It is still early days, but I consider this one of the ultimate blessings in life.