Fifteen years ago, at precisely 5:18 pm, a single sound changed my life forever.
The moments preceding this transition were silent; the world was suspended in time as I awaited… you know what? I want to be cool and sophisticated here, but the truth is, my mind is racing.
Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the day I grew up. Fifteen years ago today my life ceased to revolve around my petty needs and desires. My wife showed me the greatest, most fulfilling joy another human being can experience lies in self-sacrifice. After spending a day expending the last of her inner strength, she gave birth to a perfect little angel in mortal form.
My daughter released her first cry and everything changed.
I was so busy having a near-perfect childhood – I never did get the TARDIS I asked for every year, but otherwise things were cool – that I failed to realize how much time and effort went into protecting, guiding and enlightening a child.
Then again, does anyone?
My daughter is the embodiment of my greatest hopes and fears.
I hope I will accomplish something worthwhile during my time on this plane of reality. One look at Sarah and I know The Hook did all right. (Yes, technically VampireLover actually deserves most of the credit, but this is my post on my blog, so throw me a bone, all right?)
As any parent worth their salt will tell you, our most powerful, crippling fears revolve around our progeny. I want my daughter to live a life free of clear and present danger. I want her to live a life spent in the warm sunshine rather the frigid twilight. Simply put, I want her to be happy. And my greatest fear is that she won’t be.
However, my fear is unfounded. Hope is the most potent force in all of creation and Sarah is a reservoir of promise. To be clear, my daughter is everything I am not.
She is a gifted scribe of fiction; creating an entire series of books while perched on a bed with a slumbering dog by her side while a Disney sitcom flickers away on a television screen is second-nature to her. I’ll consider myself fortunate if I finish my second non-fiction tome while secluded in a quiet corner of our home.
She has an uncanny ability to establish an instant rapport with any member of the animal kingdom. I can’t even get the dog to listen to me while holding a pork chop.
She has a smile capable of lighting the Falls and she utilizes it seven days a week. I wake up every day, take stock of my surroundings, and let the expletives fly.
She has hair. I have a few dying strands – “soldiers” as she calls them – that I can literally hear as they fall from my scalp.
Sarah is a gift to this world from whomever is calling the shots. I am a punchline to an endless series of jokes.
To sum up, my daughter is one of those rare souls who defy description. (Yes, I realize that’s a cop-out lazy writers use to get around their limitations, but again my blog, my rules. Besides, its actually true, so there.) In short, I’ll never feel worthy of being her dad but I’m sure glad I am.
This day belongs to you, my child. Make of it what you will.
PS: Here are a few of your favorite things, but don’t worry, your mom has once again taken charge of the gift acquisition portion of our birthday tribute so you can rest easy….