July 2, 2005

10 years ago today I found out I was going to be a father. I remember it like it was yesterday — the anticipation, the nerves, the hope that it was indeed going to happen, that it wasn’t a cruel joke being played on me by God. And yet it seemed like God was on board from that day on as the child continued to grow in the womb, and at each checkup things were fine. I kept praying regardless, though, because I was just so used to things going wrong at the last possible moment. I held my breath.

Then I turned blue, and I had to exhale. And then she was born, my first child, my Alexa. She was born exercising her lungs, and she hasn’t stopped since. But on that first day when we found out she was “potential” we had no idea where it was going to go from there, what she would look like, if she had even latched on, if she was even a “she.” All we knew as we drove home from the clinic was that we wanted a child more than anything in the world.

And the call didn’t come as we sat there on the couch alternating between pretending we were watching Wimbledon and pretending we weren’t watching the phone. Until it finally came in the afternoon, when we had figured they weren’t going to call that day, that we would have to wait for either the good or the bad news, hoping that it would finally be good, and fearing that it would finally be bad. We huddled together with that fear and that anticipation swirling in our brains, but we didn’t talk about it.

Then the call came, and they spoke to my wife, and I sat there frozen like a statue, ears listening attentively to the faint hush of the voice from the other end of the line. And when it happened, when she said those words — the test came back POSITIVE — I let it all out, all those fears, all that pent up energy, all the guilt I felt for so long. I was going to be a father, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that could damped that feeling.

And there still isn’t. This one’s for you, Alexa, and for that day 10 years ago when we knew you would be ours.

Sam

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