--3 Days Old---
You're here! Oh my gosh - you are here!
We are super happy to have you arrive in this world, and so incredibly excited to get to know you; hug you; kiss you; bathe you; even change you. We are just so incredibly excited to learn about you and grow with you.
As I sit here punching the keys on this latest post, you lay beside me, fussing, making sporadic movements, occasionally and suddenly whaling, and even giving me a quick smirk just long enough to let me know you can turn on the attention siren whenever you feel - but it's all still awesome.
Because everything about you - your impressive amount of hair, your long limbs, your obsession with having your hands in your face - really, this crazy blend of your mother and me - is incredible.
I said it to your mother after you were born, and I truly mean it, I'm not sure how anyone can have kids and deny there is a God. I honestly don't get it. The experience really is devine, miraculous, and empowering.
But while your picture on Facebook and Instagram garner likes and comments from friends and family, and the text messages flood in and are packaged and stock-answered out for the many longing to meet you, you aren't the MVP of this time.
No sir, you aren't. And quite frankly, I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll have to keep you humbled - the way my father did to me.
While you get all of the attention, and the images, and the discussion is about you, the true MVP of your arrival is indeed your mother. The woman whose initials whom you have and represent. For when you are reading this, let it be known your mother spent 14 hours in labor with you. Yes, FOURTEEN. That's ten plus two more hours. That's more than half a day. That's a ridiculous amount of time waiting on you to enter the world.
She also spent over 24 hours in the hospital PRIOR to your birth. She's a rock. She's tough. And I can testify that on the weekend of June 22nd-25th, 2018, your mother was tremendous in everything thrown her way in the birthing process.
So, be kind to your mother. I'm pretty sure she'll let you know of this exact experience one day - possibly several times? Maybe a few dozen? - in a moment in which you both disagree, or if you upset her in some way. But know this, it doesn't matter who is right, respect her - always.
When I was fourteen, my father and I gained a habit of hanging out on the stoop after he came home from work. In one of those many summer hangouts, I remember him telling me "your mother is the toughest woman I know". I still hear him saying that in my head with that awesome Caribbean accent (no worries - you'll get it too) every time I see my mother do these absurd things a nearing 70 year old woman shouldn't (i.e. when I visited her the day after you were born, she was on a ladder sanding and painting a section of a hallway ceiling).
But she's good at that - taking care of my father at this stage of his life - with his current illness, or anything and everything to pick up whatever slack there is in life. She's loving, self-less to an absolute fault, so emotional, worries wayyyyy too much, but she's tough. So incredibly tough and resilient. And once again, loving.
That description is your mom. I see a lot of my mom in her. And hopefully, God-willing, you'll have the opportunity to make those comparisons for yourself one day.
However, in closing, I'm so incredibly happy you're here. You made this post from a usual twenty minute endeavor into 90 minute-long process by needing your pacifier every time you lost it, but that's okay. Mom went through 36+ hours of pain, agony, and most of all, toughness, to get you here. I can certainly spare a few minutes to simply keep you happy.
Welcome to the world, Ace. Can't wait to live it with you.
And remember, 36+ hours. THIRTY-SIX-PLUS. Respect her. Always. Seriously, always.
Your over-the moon Dad