It's my first real Father's Day! While I love and appreciate my own father (and will consider my adult self a success if I can be half the man he is), this holiday has never been anything special. It was always just another day. Boy does that all change when you become a dad! There is nothing in life that I am more proud of than being a father.
I have a very strange memory, as most of you well know. I can hear a quote from a TV show or movie and remember/repeat it for the rest of my life. In fact, probably 1/4 of everything I say is a direct quote from something I have seen (Jurassic Park is one of the most common sources). In everything else my memory is par for the course or a little worse. I would be hard pressed to answer correctly if you asked me what I ate for dinner yesterday. Oddly I do remember the first meal Crystal ever cooked me though (way to a man's heart!).
Memory background stated, I am amazed at how many things with these babies are permanently engraved in my memory. I still remember the feeling when I first saw them in the operating room. I can remember what I was doing, where I was, and exactly what it sounded like the first time one of the babies (Alton) ever laughed out loud. I remember the first time I saw one of them roll over (Ashlyn).
I even cherish the negative memories. I will always recall what Neutramigen smells like from Ashlyn throwing it up all over me so many times. I can recognize the sound of Alton crying from the other side of our church building. As frustrating as it is for all their eating troubles, I will look back on all the opportunities to snuggle with them, while screaming or not, for so long with gratitude.
I am so happy and proud to be a father. I love everything about it, even the hard times. I know that in the future I will look back at getting up at 2am to help a screaming baby, feeding a child who wants to do anything but eat, and watching the bank account balance plummet as we purchase formula after formula as nothing but fond memories. Happy Father's Day, everyone.