It started with the
Oh, I see. It's called a Calliope.
So we quickly got the
So with all due respect to the good people of Baltimore, and of course I was grateful for the parade, but the baby and I were going back inside. Count to ten, and he was asleep.
Now we were alone in my friends' house, and I had a sleeping baby and a remote, which meant no more football.
First, I landed on the Golf Channel, where these three Boomers were talking about golf exercises. Pretty surreal, not sure why.
But even when the guy in yellow started stretching on the floor, the novelty wore off quickly, because I'm in my late-mid-thirties, not in my early twenties. When I were twenty-something in England, I used to watch Man and His Dog, a weekly sheep-herding competition. Things change.
So I kept on surfing, and found this golf-related movie.
Here's another clue. A post-modern one.
Luckily, before I got sucked into the movie, Honey came in and took over, which meant I got to go outside and see the Birthday Parade. But it was still Hellishly cold, even when God sent his messengers out, complete with angels sitting on a cross.
And that's pretty much it for the parade and the party. Now that it's over, here's something I'm not that comfortable talking about, but might as well:
A year ago we were in a hospital room with this stranger we were supposed to love. It wasn't instant, at least for me. How can it be instant? He was just this creature that lived inside my wife's body and now lived outside. And I was scared and I was sad because I thought it was the most horrible thing in the world that I didn't love my son.
But then I thought that maybe it was normal. Maybe everyone--at least men, because they're not the pregnant ones--goes through those same unspeakable fears. Maybe I just needed some time.
And of course I was scared and sad. Because I didn't know what my reaction would be when one day, out of nowhere, he'd open his big blue eyes and smile. And then I saw him laugh. I didn't know he would fall off his crib on his head, leaving me shaking as I waited for the ambulance. And I didn't know that one day I'd be so thrilled to see this stranger clap his hands, and sit up, and crawl, and stand, and sing, and dance, and talk in a language only he understood.
Because if anyone had told me any of these things a year ago, I would have had a good night sleep.
But no one was there to tell me about the future. No one was there to calm me down, maybe because I didn't tell anyone and didn't admit it to myself. And no one was there to tell me that even though I didn't know it yet, I was about to experience the most incredible year of my life. And even though on that first night I looked at my son and saw a stranger, at the end of our first year together, I look at him and see the most beautiful creature in the world, and I love him so much, it hurts like Hell to hear him cry, and it makes me the happiest man in the world to see him happy.
Happy birthday, Liam, my love.