July 7, 2008

What Blessings This Way Come

I love my son. I love my wife. And after a year of baby raising under my belt, I really love my family. God has truly blessed me. Maddox is pure joy. Nicole is the mother every child should have and the wife I needed to have. And, to my own disbelief, I am a dad. What a difference a year can make. What an amazing transformation God has squeezed into a year. Today is Maddox's day. Happy birthday son.

What a weird feeling I currently have. It's somewhat similar to the polar opposite feeling you have when standing in the delivery room. Both excitement at the birth of your first child and fear of what is to come and doubt at your own adequacy. Such a strange feeling. It's like... "Hurry up and give me the thing I'm not sure I can handle. And make it snappy!". But one year later, somehow we did it. And today, my feelings are just as polarized. I'm so happy for Nicole and me for making it a full year. I'm so happy for Maddox and the little boy he's becoming, and the man he's on his way to be. But, the flip side is that I somehow find myself really, truly sad. Verge of tears sad. What I wuss I am! It's only been a year and it's such an amazing accomplishment, but I'm honestly sad because my boy is growing up. Year one is in the books and already I wished I could go back for a day or 2 and soak it in a little more. I'd like to go back to the first time Nicole and I heard him say "Da". Or the first time he smiled at us, and meant it. Or the first time he offered me a cheerio and ate it right in front of my face while grinning and giggling. Oh to relive these times. But I can't. Such is life. More often than not, you have to really nail it the first time around. I know I did the best I could, but sometimes, once just isn't enough. This is why I'm sad.

But, enough sadness already. This is his first birthday and I refuse to be the wet blanket at this sleepover. Help me celebrate his birthday. One full year of grunting, pooping, eating and playing. What a year he has had. I'm going to try and compile a few photos to demonstrate his transformation... the different personality traits he's picked up in a year, if you will.

The You're Boring Me Max

The Concerned that this Monkey Might be Real Max

Bored Max

Happy Max

Poser/Where's the Weight Room Max

Tolerant/Patient Max

Kung Fu Max

Surprised Max

Santa Max

Sucker Max

Attack Max

Hiding Max

Hungry Max

Content Max

Lover Max

Musical Max

Attack Max 2

Cowboy Max

Study Max

Questioning Max

RollerCoaster Max

In Trouble with Law Max

Lochness Max

Burrito Max

Hunter-Gatherer Max

I'll post more photos and videos soon. But for now... have a great birthday Pork Chop. I love you.