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He just showed up, and he is screaming at me. The child took one day. The birth took ten months. That weight that every new father feels when he sees his first child born. It hits you heavily – pushing down on your shoulders. As my sweet baby boy was arriving, that knowledge and the realization of obligation pushed equally down onto me. It’s a good feeling—a feeling all its own. Maybe instinct. I can’t say.

All I know is that at 12:08 AM on November 11, my life changed forever for the better. What a beautiful little boy – hell – he was a dead ringer for 80’s Elvis. Right down to the sideburns, milky blue eyes, and hot damn if my boy couldn’t wail!

Like all fathers, I’d guess I instantly fell in love with my son. He looked like his mother, and I thought he was everything I’d ever wanted. He was almost 9 pounds almost, 22 ½ inches long and all mine! Well, his mommas too. I’d guess his mother’s protective side. I was okay with her need for him.

I never had a father or much of a mother either. My father was a mean drunk with a rotten side when he showed up. My mother tried. In her own, off way. Drugs, men, and abuse. She drowned herself in meth. She made me become a man by 12. I learned to take what I wanted, and I did. Anything and everything a wild 12-year-old would dream of. Yes, weed, booze, and a lot of sex. I carried my household. I paid the rent and bought all that was needed. Anything my sweet sister asked for, I got for her. I loved seeing her smile.

When I met my young, beautiful, and no-BS wife, that woman changed my life forever. The way she spoke and the way she punctuated her sentences, I fell in love. I simply believed in her; I simply knew she wasn’t trying to use me or abuse my faith in her, as so many of my ex-girlfriends had. This beautiful, hazel-eyed brunette stole my heart and instantly had 100% of my loyalty. I now knew what real, true love was. Who knew a man could be so lucky to fall in love again? “My son, my son!” He had only come into this world 30 seconds ago, and already he was screaming at me. And I was crying, smiling—just so full of happiness and emotion. I was in love again. That weight a man feels as each of his children comes into this world is wonderfully heavy. A real man recognizes it as a reminder that we are now responsible for another human beings life and welfare.

I always worried I wouldn’t be a good father. I had piss-poor role models. I would not allow my sweet little boy to endure the horrors I had suffered growing up. But how do I give him all he deserves? I prayed on it for ten months. God finally answered me: do the opposite of everything my father had done. My little daddy would get the fair shake at life I never got. I just knew the unfair cycle of abuse ended with me.

I cut the umbilical cord (so pretty) and held my son ever so carefully in my folded arms, and quietly wept—a new father’s joy.

I miss my family. I miss my wife. I ache and hurt hourly inside my chest for my only child. A real man overcomes and gives 100% of himself to see that his son, my “bear” has all the love, security, and building blocks to grow into his full potential safely. It’s impossible to forget the birth of my first and only child. How much vigor and energy he’s brought to my little family. For all I never had and suffered through, he, my sweet, big, little boy, has bridged and healed.

A real man looks forward to better days. I am thankful that the screaming mini-Elvis is his. All mine! To fall in love with such severity to this day amazes me with force. However, I can’t hold my memories of him and his beautifully tired momma like hot cocoa on a snowy night. My little daddy is now almost a full-grown man. I love that warm feeling of peace in my heart. Knowing I gave 100% of my abilities to raise him right. My son is a good boy. I’m so proud of him. Why aren’t all fathers of their sons? No, some men ignore compassion, of growing and loving the simple things that amuse kids. Being a father is a tough job. But real men step up to the plate to finish what they started falling in love repeatedly. Nowadays, I laugh when I close my eyes and remember the night my son was born. I love hearing him scream, “I’m here, Dad, ready or not!” My chosen family, wife, and screaming son are a gift I’d never give back. I know what it means to fall in love. 


He just showed up, and he is screaming at me

The child took one day

The birth took ten months

One of the greatest feelings you’ve ever

I grew up on my own, spending time in hot water

Met the love of my life – was my compass

Being part of the community

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