One year ago today, my son Connor was born to parents who didn’t know much about how to raise a child. We were ready to do our best, but we knew these next few years would be full of surprises. We knew we’d make mistakes but we’d learn to trust our instincts.
As I write this, Connor holds his sippy cup in one hand and his favorite book, “The Very Busy Spider,” in the other hand. He flips through the pages, stopping to look at his favorite pictures, then brings the book to me. He sits in my lap and I read the book to him. It’s our new tradition.
After we read this book together, I’ll bring him upstairs for a nap. We’ll read books like “Llama Llama Red Pajama” and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” until he dozes off. He loves being read to and he carries his favorite books around the house. For that, I am one proud dad.
I’ve had to learn how to be a father on the job. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Before Connor was born, I had never changed a diaper nor had I spent more than 15 minutes with a baby. Today, I’m a stay-at-home dad. I’m always learning something new. It’s been the greatest education of my life.
On many days I feel totally clueless, especially when things don’t go the way I’d planned. But watching my son right now, on his first birthday, I know I’ve done something right. I’ve instilled in him a love of books. I hope it’s a love that will last beyond this first year. I’m sure it will. It fills me with pride to know my son is curious about the world around him, that he can sit and flip through a book on his own at such a young age and enjoy it.
I watch him grow up and I know my wife and I have achieved something great. I hope that as we have more birthdays with him, he’ll continue to grow in his curiosity and intelligence. And soon, he’ll read his favorite stories to me, and I’ll make sure I’m always there to listen.