Fatherhood: flashbacks, the feels, the future

Three boys.

One amazingly creative, artistic, sensitive, imaginative 6-year-old school-aged son (Nolan). One carefree, caring, always-smiling, rambunctious 3-year-old preschooler (Graham). One ever-hungry, fearless, happy-go-lucky 1-year-old toddler (Austin).

There’s no more babies here, but really, aren’t they always our babies? And since that was clearly a rhetorical question, #ThanksBaby.

201521_979756912186_61186_oThank you Nolan, for making me a dad – your dad – six-plus years ago. Sure, your mom and I were driving to the hospital without knowing a damn thing: your name, whether you were a boy or girl, if we would be good enough parents, or if we were even ready to be parents. You were awesome from Day 1 and continue to amaze us every single day. You literally just finished kindergarten yesterday, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how fast you’ve grown. Your zest and eagerness to learn is inspiring – I can learn a thing or two. You take no days off, your motor never stops, and the imagination you possess in that noggin is unfathomable. Your future is a yet-to-be-written and the world will be thankful for whatever you do. And stop growing up so quickly but keep learning. Thanks baby.

322DED5C-2191-48A7-8AFA-BF38CD261E9DGraham, the current middle child/once baby bro. Who knew that despite you not smiling for nearly your first ten months, you’d be the smiliest kid on Earth. You’re a hellion at times, getting into everything and pushing us to our limits, but being home with you and Austin every day gives me the opportunity to watch you thrive as a big brother. It’s gratifying seeing you genuinely enjoy the time you spend with Austin despite his occasional punches and headbutts. You’re a goofball and stubborn as all hell, but I admire your unwavering disdain, despite our best efforts of bribery, for learning to be potty trained. Stand your ground, always. And keep smiling…and giving me hugs…and reminding me to smile. Thanks baby.

DSC_0514And completing the Darcy trio, Austin, by far the calmest and most chill baby of the three, but maybe you’re just taking it all in, feeling out the two older dudes. You’re not afraid to mix it up with Nolan and Graham, and that’s certainly a trait worth keeping. Not the punching and headbutting part, but the fearlessness. You’re resilient, fun-loving, low maintenance, and a despite being a tough nut to crack, an absolute joy to be around. You tired snuggles aren’t so bad either. But don’t get it twisted, just because you’re the third in line doesn’t mean you’ll get a free pass to do what you want because we’re “done parenting,” it just means we’re going to expect you to learn from watching the other two make all the mistakes. Your pensive, all-business stares make adults nervous and will win you many staring contests, but I know behind those eyes is yet another Darcy boy with a gentle soul and bright future. Thanks baby.

As your dad, I’m thankful/grateful/lucky to have you three as my sons. I know only Nolan can read right now, but one day, maybe you’ll all read this, thought it’s just a small encapsulation of my feelings and thoughts. I’m insanely optimistic and eager to continue our journey as a family, as your dad. It starts now, as summer break is officially here!

Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there. Enjoy every day and every minute with your kids. Make memories, have fun, be their hero. One day, maybe they’ll remember to thank you for being you.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers for this promotion. 

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