February 19, 1999

This date may not mean much to the rest of the world but to me, it is one of the greatest days of my life. On February 19, 1999 at 11:50 PM, An 8 lbs 8 oz boy was born to this world and at that exact moment, my life changed. I was no longer just Ricky the son, Ricky the brother, Ricky the husband or whatever else I had been known as up until that point. With the ear-piercing scream of the newly born child I then became and will forever be known as Dad.

I had a feeling this was going to be the day. The due date was the was actually February 5th so we were at week 42 on this day. We went in to the doctor for the weekly check up and the doctor told us, “Well, he isn’t quite ready yet but, from what we can tell, he is around 8 lbs now. We can wait another week or we can induce labor today. If we wait, he may come on his own before the week is up. I suggest since you are here now, let’s induce but it is up to you.” We discussed and decided the world was ready for his arrival. We got checked into the hospital and alerted the family that this was going to the day. The induced labor and we waited. And waited, and waited and ……. That hard-headed little boy wasn’t ready to come out yet!!

My now ex-wife had two children before we had gotten married. She had one boy and one girl and they were 16 and 14 at the time. Her labor with the both of them lasted and average of 2 hours. This one however was going to be much, much longer. Almost 12 hours to be exact. It was a long day but, he was well worth the wait. I never knew it was possible to love someone so much after seeing them for the first time. I was excited and scared at the same time. I was so afraid I would break him the first time I held him. He was so tiny and I felt like a giant compared to him. I mustered up my courage and picked up my son for the very first time and from that moment on, I was hooked. I loved that child with all my soul from that moment on. The picture below is the first picture of my son and I.

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19 years have gone by in a flash. I vividly remember your first steps, your first words, your first day of school, I remember them all. What to you seems like 19 years, to me feels like a blink of an eye. You will never understand this until you become a father yourself. You are an adult now but, will always be my baby boy. You are your own man now, paving your own path in the world. As each day goes by, you will need me less and less. As each day goes by, my pride for you grows and grows. We have been though good days and bad, good time and hard times and lots of smiles and tears. We went through a time where it was just you and me, to now when “Ms Anna” came into our lives and saved us both. Watching you grow into the man you are has been my privilege, being you dad is my honor. Happy Birthday son, you will always be “The One and Olmi” to me.

 

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