I have this overwhelming urge to share things with you, but as you are still only 12 months old, putting it down on paper seems a better option.
Son, I am writing this while I am watching you on the baby monitor, sound asleep! Daddy cannot believe it is 12 months already since I first held you in my arms and nearly 2 years since the possibility of you came into being.
When I first saw you, when we went to the doctor, you were the size of a peanut, and I called you that for the nearly 8 months. You filled our hearts with warmth and love long before you took your first breath, times when you kicked or pushed my hand, when you still lay snuggled and warm in mommy’s tummy. Even then I dreamed of the things we will do together, first bike, playing with the ball, fishing, hiking and so much more.
You must have been excited to meet us too, because you came a little earlier than expected, 3 weeks to be exact, but all fears that you were overeager vanished when you took your first breath and cried. This next part you will understand later in life, but that first cry was the most wonderful sound we ever heard and when we saw you, even though we did not know you, we knew, we will do anything to keep you safe and loved you deeply.
Now that you have come to know us a little better, you should know that we are not perfect, and we make many mistakes, but we will always try to do our best and make decisions in your best interest. I know these decisions may sometimes seem “not agreeable” in the moment, but hopefully in future, looking back they will make sense. As parents we question ourselves regularly and re-evaluate constantly in an effort to make correct decisions and affirm our actions, and that is what parents do.
When you were christened, I wrote this prayer for you (Translated from Afrikaans):
What a privilege it is to be a parent, we praise You for this gift You bestowed on us. Give us as parents the wisdom that in our task as parents we never will forget You and we ask for Your guiding Hand in the years to come.
Help us to be a good example to our son and to raise him so. Help us to make the right decisions in good and bad times and thank you for this little miracle, which just shows how much You love us as Your children.
To our son we pray as parents, never to let your light dim, always look to God in your life and He will light up the road ahead. Know Him in all that you do and He will strengthen you. Son, keep your eyes open, look around, keep the good close, discard the bad, keep a clear mind, be responsible. Do this so that you can always be proud of yourself, even if things do not go your way, remember God has a reason for everything.
You are our son and grandson, know that we love you dearly and even if you are far away on winding roads, you will always be just a daydream away for us. We are proud of you!
As your parents, we are so proud of you, first smile, crawl and now walking! You have achieved to so much in your first year already. You know the one thing at the moment that makes me warm from head to toe and want to hold you close for as long as I can, is when you come walking (penguin style) towards me with that big smile and outstretched hands. I really hope that as our relationship develops and you get older, you will always come to me like this, even though it most probably will be less physical and more of a more mental outreach.
For now, my son, you love playing hide and-seek, chasing after the ball, toy inspecting, diving into your pool with a hundred balls and finding hidden stuff there, dancing while watching music on TV or dancing with us, snuggling with us in bed, reading (paging) your books, most especially you love mom’s reading them to you and you absolutely love it when mom comes home with hugs and kisses. You ,most probably, will never remember these precious moments, I will never forget them.
After 1 year, I can unequivocally say, I love being a dad, but more importantly, I love being your dad.
I cannot wait to share and see what the next year will bring!