I drove a little slower that day, 6 years and 8 months ago. Not because I was shell shocked (I was). Not because a cocktail of apprehension, bliss, excitement and confusion was coursing through every vessel in my body (it was).
It was because you needed me. I was no longer inconsequential. No longer a reckless Ronin. I mattered.
True, you were but a peapod in suspended in ... stuff. But soon you would grow fingers that would need someone to stick a Scooby Doo band-aid on (even though I can't see this "cut" that you're screaming about). You would grow legs that were "too tired" to walk around Disneyland on (meaning my neck and shoulders will continue to keep chiropractors in business for years to come). You would develop a biting sense of humor that needed a comic foil (and would spawn a blog of epic proportions... ahem).
You sprung this fatherhood thing on me with no advanced warning. I wasn't even done playing Summer Fling Guy with your mama. Talk about now, now, now, now, Dad!
And just when I've begun to acclimate myself to the fact that I have a baby, you go and do what? You turn into a 6-year-old kid! Just yesterday, I was scratching my head over what to do with this:
But back then, all I knew about survival was "keep your hands up," so I figured you were doing alright.
Once we passed the "seven day guarantee" offered by most pet shops, mom and I were relieved that we were at least following the instructions properly. Then we started to have fun with it. Do you remember hearing me sing "Rocket Man" while cracking up and pointing at you? Here's why:
When you weren't strapped to imaginary jetpacks, you were my little lion cub. In fact, I wanted to go to the bar where I met your mama and hoist you up Lion King style for all to see. Instead, I got my Mufasa on by taking naps on the plains with you.
Of course mom had her fun with you too. Her favorite things were your chubby cheeks and tiny feet. And we have so many pictures to prove it.
Oh, I also have to thank you for indulging all my whims, as proven here:
... and here.
I know, you couldn't even stand up on your own yet and there I was getting you ready for your ring debut. But come on, let's be fair. You put us through a lot too--even when you couldn't "walk"--like that time I totally busted you messing with my office equipment!
And then one day you actually learned to walk! As I caught it on film I thought "wow, a self-propelled being!" Despite my comparing you to a guided missile, it was a pretty moving moment.
Now that you could walk, you were a certified bad ass. And training got underway in earnest. First, you had to get that grimace down:
Then, of course, you had to dress the part:
But underneath it all, you remained that cute kid that no one could get enough of.
Considering you had such big shoes to fill, you did a kick ass job!
... and along the way, you gave me a pretty big job as well: Chief Lego Engineer.
Lucky for me, you also began picking up other hobbies. Like bike riding. Which to this day has been my most exhilarating moment with you yet. This also happened to be the day it dawned on me that you were no longer "the baby."
I mean, would a baby have the balls to do this?
You are becoming a true warrior, my son. And I am damn proud of you!
But can you do me one favor? You may be a full fledged boy, and at times (like Sunday at Hooters) even one of "d Boys,"...
... but now can you slow down?
HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY, FURY!
- Love, Dad