Fatherhood: The Sam Effect

8/3/10

Note: This has nothing to do with startups. This is a personal post about my first child, Sam.

I’m on my flight to China for work. I think this is a good time to write this post. I’ve kept putting this post off because I knew it would be a challenge. How can I put my feelings to paper. How can I give these feelings justice. This post is the main reason why i’ve got back into blogging. I wanted this to be documented somewhere. And I want Sam to read this someday.

This post is about the Samurai, the Great Sambino, Mr. Sammy.

It’s now been more than two months since the little guy was born. What an experience it’s been so far (understatement of the century). He has completely turned our life upside down.

4609058099_8d4c1a3715Let me tell you a story…

The day we came home from the hospital was a Friday, early evening. Oh how refreshing it was to leave the hospital. Three days was enough; we were ready to take on the adventure of parenthood, without the help of the kind nurses.

The night we got home, I remember Rachel asking me to go to Target and grab some things. More diapers, a bouncer seat, etc. I ended up spending much more money than anticipated. It was a completely new exhilaration, buying things for my child. I couldn’t help myself. I was so freakin’ excited. I started buying whatever I could find. I came home with a ton of new clothes. I was so happy to be a dad. I wanted my son to have it all!

Responsibility

On the way home from Target, I almost couldn’t drive. I was choked up with emotion. By the time I got near our house I was too embarrassed to go inside. I’m embarrassed to cry in front of Rachel. I’m supposed to be the strong one. I pulled over just a block from home and parked.

Tears flooded my eyes as it all started to sink in. Reality hit. God had given us a child. A child to watch over and raise. A child to love and from whom be loved. A child to teach and rear. I sobbed with gratitude, thanking God aloud…over and over. I sobbed with joy, asking God how we could ever deserve this pure happiness. I immediately started to feel the weight of this special calling, this divine responsibility. And I cried and pled for God’s help and strength in this challenge. I shed many tears that night. What a special blessing God has given us.

As I write this, i’m filled with emotion — perhaps because i’m closer to heaven. I’m tens of thousands of feet in the air, somewhere over the ocean, on my way to China. I’m trying to dim all the lights so no one will see me like this. Dudes don’t cry do they?

Parenthood

Sometimes people will ask how it feels. How does it feel to be a new dad? I always say the same thing. This feeling that comes with parenthood is a completely foreign feeling. Having a child unlocks a part of your heart and brain that you had no idea existed. It’s a new type of love. I tell people that had I known this type of love and happiness existed, I would have wanted to have a child much sooner. I’m 100% serious when I say that. You just don’t know what you’re missing because you’ve never experienced it before. Well, now I have.

When friends of mine who already have kids would talk about their children nonstop, I never understood it. I never understood why people would tweet and blog about their kids all day long. Does it ever get old?

2917802031_5b7e0f8a14_zOh how that feeling has changed. I know exactly what it feels like now. My perspective of parents (and children) has forever changed. My perspective on life has forever changed. I too wanna talk about my kid all day long. It’s the main reason why i’m blogging again. I can’t contain this feeling inside me.

There’s no question about it that when I talk about my son, my countenance completely lights up. I beam. Multiple people have observed this and said something. He brings incredible joy to our small family. He brings light wherever he goes. Not coincidentally, that’s one of the things mentioned in his baby blessing — he will spread happiness wherever he goes. He will be a light that shines.

Effect

Not only does he bring incredible joy, but he makes me wanna be better. He makes me wanna go out and dominate. He makes me wanna be a better person. A more selfless person. He makes me wanna be a better father, husband, brother, son, leader and friend. He makes me wanna be smarter, healthier and stronger. He’s makes me wanna elevate my game to the next level, in all aspects of my life.

He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t walk, or even crawl. He doesn’t eat (well, just milk). He doesn’t do much of anything. Yet, he has completely transformed my life — my priorities, my perspective, my desires. It’s amazing the impact such a little guy can have. This “feeling” that i’ve been trying to describe transcends all; it has power to move mountains. A child so fresh from God’s presence brings an indescribable power.

I can only hope and pray that all may have an opportunity to experience this. If not in this life, certainly the next. It’s challenging yet so rewarding. It’s crazy to think that this is just the beginning. I’m guessing that it’ll be more and more challenging. And just as it gets more challenging, i’m convinced it’ll be 10x more rewarding.

God lives. This feeling that I describe can only come from God.

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