Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Peanut!!

This is the last picture of me before I officially became a father. It was taken on the airstrip in Uzbekistan prior to my return home from my first tour in Afghanistan.


Five years ago tonight, I sat in the small NICU of the Women's Hospital at River Oaks and held the hand of this little guy...

At around 1 pm that day, Connor was born. I was in the air somewhere between North Carolina and Mississippi and therefore missed his birth by two and a half hours. I arrived at the hospital shortly after 3 pm and found that Connor had been taken to the NICU where he would stay for the next ten days.

To say that this was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced would be an understatement. To have spent the last 12 months gone from home, 6 of those months spent in Afghanistan, waiting impatiently every day to witness the birth of my son, and then to not be able to hold him and take him home was difficult. To worry that he might not make it was heartwrenching.

But now, five years later I look back and say that this was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. To have watched, "iouweeu, daey" evolve into "I Love You, Daddy" has been amazing. Watching those first steps, hearing those first words, teaching him how to be a good kid, and watching the world shrink around him have been the greatest things I've ever experienced. It's what I was born to do.

For those who might have missed it, and for those interested in catching up, you can relieve the life of Connor through this video.

The sad thing about being a parent is that it took you as long to watch this slide show as it did for me to live the memories. It all goes by too fast.

Happy Birthday, Son...I look forward to being around for many more to come.



4 comments:

fielderschoice said...

Great video - thanks for sharing! Hopefully Connor got my package by now...

Cesario said...

Happy Birthday to your son, hope he will collect cards someday.

jv said...

Thanks, guys!!

I did get the package in the mail the other day, Dave. (I couldn't remember if I emailed you or not.)

I had anticipated waiting on the two more that I know are coming so we could film him opening the packages...

but...

I clipped the packages to get an idea of what was in them and I think we may do each package as a separate video anyway.

We have five gifts so far and two more that I'm aware of that are on the way and I don't think I can squeeze them all into 10 minutes...

I'll keep everyone updated...

Darren Cooper said...

Happy Birthday to Connor! I can't wait to be a daddy!...Keep in touch bro!