Happy Eleventh, Jon

It’s four minutes to midnight. Eleven years ago, I settled into bed, alone, forever changed by the events I had just participated in.

I had watched my first child born, had heard his cry, and had carried him into the nursery (a procedural blunder by the hospital for which I am grateful). I watched him closely for forty-five minutes, laying nearly naked under a jaundice lamp, blinking and looking around, mostly up at my face. I wondered what he thought of the big guy hovering over him.

Forty-five minutes bracketed my own life as a child, and heralded a dramatic change: I was now a father.

Today, eleven years later, the baby is gone, and the thing that has taken its place is often irreverent, sometimes difficult, but always amazing to me. I am now slowly losing him to himself, a process I knew was coming, but never thought much about. Until now, that is.

Happy birthday, Jon. You’re turning into a great guy. Just don’t run too far ahead, OK?