My oldest is about to turn 5 and my youngest 2, both within the next two months. I imagine at some point I will write about the excitement I have when they learn how to ride a bike without training wheels, how proud I am watching them graduate from high school and hopefully college, and how thankful I am that they found the perfect person to spend the rest of their lives with. All things I really can’t begin to wrap my head around at this point.
You want to know where my head is right now?
The other day while mowing the lawn I noticed the 1-year-old, our little freight train, standing at a window and banging on the screen yelling, “Dah-de. Mower.” This act is nothing new actually and is pretty much par for the course whenever I cut the lawn, but all of a sudden it took a little twist.
The conductor of our little freight train, the 4-year-old, decided to join in the fun and pulled up two chairs to the window. So you can imagine my surprise when the next turn I took past this window featured my two boys, both sitting in chairs, clapping and smiling and yelling, “Yay Daddy!”
My own little cheering section. Thankfully I turned the mower just in time and wiped a potential tear from my eye before they could see. Honestly, probably one of the top 5 feelings I’ve ever had as a dad.
The birth of my 1st son is obviously going to get a mention here. All of that nervous energy, all of the build-up escalating exponentially leading up to that special day and all of the unknown surrounding pretty much everything was nothing compared to the feeling I had when I first laid eyes upon our firstborn. Yet, as a male, I stayed relatively calm and collected and kept my eyes on everything going on in the room, with my wife, as well as our new baby.
I mean, I had a job to do. Granted the doctors and nurses were actually the ones who had a job to do, but we are guys, humor us. My “dad moment” here actually came when I walked into the waiting room to announce to both of our parents that all went according to “plan” like the calm and collected male that I was… and pretty much lost it and broke down in tears.
Calm and collected indeed.
I’m not sure my next “favorite moment” is actually a specific occasion, but more like a shooting star type of occurrence in that they don’t come too often, but when they do they actually take your breath away.
I’m talking about when my two boys spend time together by themselves and of their own volition.
Nothing really brings me greater joy than watching them, on their own, play together with cars or trains or whatever. It brings me back to a neighbor once telling me when I was in my 20s, “Oh, you just can’t have 1 kid.” At the time I nearly knocked him out, but now I totally get it.
These two boys are connected for life, and even if they don’t know it right now, they love each other with all of their hearts. It might not seem like it when the oldest thinks it’s funny to tell his brother that “Mommy is home” when she just left to run errands minutes earlier, or when they decide to pummel each other over who gets to play with Sarge at any given moment, or which one gets to claim the better real estate while giving Daddy a “wrestling hug,” but somewhere inside each of them is a brotherly bond that will never be broken.
Nothing displays this bond more so lately then when big brother reads his little buddy a book. Picture the little guy snuggled up next to his role model, with his thumb in his mouth and eyes intent on the book, pulling his thumb out only to say “fluffy” when prompted by his older brother asking why this particular bunny wasn’t the one they were looking for.
Want to turn into a puddle at the drop of a hat? Walk into that scene when you are least expecting it.
When those rare moments happen, those in which they forget that they are in constant competition with each other and just get lost in the joys of being next to one another, I take a little mental picture and store it away for the horror show that is known as dinner time.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 8/19/12.