Even as I type this, I have to admit that I am really struggling on the direction of this post. All signs point to how much I want to pile on myself for slacking on my writing….no, slacking is too kind of a term at this point; downright laziness is more like it. But honestly, what is that going to accomplish? This forum is supposed to be about Ferris, not me. I have a whole other blog site where I can freely beat up on my short-comings. So, enough about me, and more about the boy.
I simply cannot believe our baby boy is a year old. My wife’s favorite way to get out of talking about a topic is to say, “I can’t. I can’t process this right now.” I always get on her for it and say that it’s total cop-out, but now I can finally say I feel that same way. I simply can’t process that Ferris is 1 year old.
When I last checked in he was barely 6 months old, and while that was not that long ago, it feels as if it were ages ago. I often describe this last year to people that I can’t believe he’s turning 1, but it feels like he’s been around for years. It’s the weirdest feeling. How can you feel like time is flying by, yet feel like it’s dragging on at the same time? Become a parent, that’s how, lol.
Lately many people have asked me what this year has been like. It’s been a pretty even mix of people with kids vs. people without kids who inquire, but I think most of them have very similar reaction to my honesty about how I feel about these last 12 months; because it’s not always that nice.
Prior to Ferris being born I had these grand ideas of parenthood, and what kind of parents I thought the Wife and I would be. We are both smart and funny (well, the Wife is smart, and I’m funny), kind, loving and caring people, so naturally I knew we would be the greatest parents to ever walk this Earth. While I would have never claimed that raising a kid was going to be a walk in the park, I knew for sure that we would rock it out with no problem, because we’re good like that, and our baby would be just like us. And for the most part we were right; our baby is like us. It just so happens he has some of our other traits we didn’t really recognize we had.
Ferris was a super fussy baby. The first 3-4 months were some of the hardest days of my life, and for the Wife it was even worse as she was home with him all day long, with no relief until I came home from work. Unfortunately Ferris was born with reflux issues, and to top it off he hated napping. All of this led to a cranky and tired baby almost every day. Tack all that on top of two exhausted parents, who live in a shoe-box apartment, and are frustrated, and until recently were really comfortable in their own selfishness…give it a quick shake, and what do you get? Instant negative environment, that what!
But, through all the struggles; through all the fussiness; through all the trips and falls (us, not him), there were plenty of awesome moments to pull us all back together.
One particular moment stands out whenever I think about all our good moments. It was right before Ferris turned 4 months old. The Wife and I took Ferris on a day trip to visit one of the Wife’s coworkers who had not met him yet due to being home-bound after surgery. On the car ride home Ferris was doing pretty good, which was a feat in itself as he hates the car seat, and the Wife was riding in the back seat with him. She was kind of being down on herself, saying how she feels like she was not doing a very good job as a partner, or as a Mom. I tried my hardest to dissuade that line of thinking, but I knew there was only so much I could say since the Wife was struggling with some post-partum issues, like many women do. At one point she was talking to Ferris and saying how she was going to try harder, and that point she started crying. When I asked what was wrong, she said, “Nothing, he just laughed for the first time”….a real laugh! This was one of those moments that you say, “This makes it all worth it.”
As I have said in earlier blogs….way earlier blogs, lol….it wasn’t always fussiness and stress. At about the 5 month mark we started to see signs of Ferris becoming a little person. He started expressing joy for things he liked, and was very adamant about the things he didn’t enjoy; like tummy-time. Man, did he hate tummy-time.
We also learned around this time that Ferris is very adaptable. This is probably the main thing that helped the Wife and I ease some of our anxiety about taking Ferris places in public (because of the prior period of super-fussiness). And what a place to show us how cool he could be, but the airport during a busy travel day.
We took Ferris to San Diego to see family and for a little vacation. To say the Wife and I were super nervous about taking our baby into a crowded airport, then on a 6 hour flight with nowhere to go if he had a meltdown is an understatement. But just when you think you get this kid pegged, he completely surprises you. This kid was a total rock star; cooler than the other side of the pillow even. And it’s been the same every time we’ve traveled this year; which has been a lot….much to the chagrin of our bank account. Looks like the boy is going to be just like his Mom and love to travel.
Much of our travel was due to holidays. This was especially fun for me because for the last 5 years the Wife and I have not been able to join our family for the holidays due to me working retail, and having to work the day after Xmas and Thanksgiving. But more importantly because we got to celebrate the holidays with Ferris as part of our family now.
This past year has dragged on, yet gone by in a blink of an eye. While I have been writing this post I keep finding myself breaking from the writing and start flipping through the photos of Ferris from this past year. I see this little, fragile person who arrived on this Earth late one night last January, then I see him get a little bigger; a little less fragile, but even now as I stare at a picture I took of him on my iPhone of him being silly yesterday, I still that little baby who fit in the nook of arm because he was so small. I see that little boy who I welcomed to the world and promised I would take care of him forever, and never let anything hurt him. And somehow I think I will always see him this way.
I totally get it now, what people told me about the way you love will change when you have a child. I used to be pretty defiant (shocker, lol) about the whole statement, “You never know how to love until you have a child,” and I still am because that is unfair to people without children, and frankly I have always known how to love. Also, to those who said that I would “really” learn how to love someone other than myself when I had a kid, I still disagree with you too, because I loved my wife long before Ferris showed up, and every day I love her more than I did the day before. My wife is my world. However; what I will say is true, is that since Ferris arrived I now know what it looks like to see my heart outside of my body. I love this boy so very much, and cannot even imagine life without him. Like I said, it feels like he’s always been here.
Well kiddo, it’s been a pretty crazy year since you showed up. We’ve had some awesome highs, and some trying lows. I watch you grow and learn every day and am amazed at how you’ve changed in such a short time. I am so proud of you, and I am so proud to be your Dad.
I’m sorry I didn’t live up to all the high standards I set for myself. I know I stumbled as a partner, and as a Dad…a lot. I didn’t live up to all the promises I made, and that makes me sad. I wish I had done a better job at so many things, but when I see you smile at me, or when you laugh while you crawl over to me and climb all over me, or any of the other silly stuff you do when we play, it makes me feel all better because I know you don’t care about any of that. You love me anyway, and in that I see your Mom in you, because she looks at me like that too. For all my short-comings and failures, you still think I’m pretty cool.
There is one promise I have kept, and I’m pretty happy about it. And that is that I love you more and more every day. And that I will always love you and your Mom.
I love you buddy, and I always will,