April 28, 2008

“Watch Me, Daddy. Watch me.”

“Watch me, Daddy. Watch me.” you say.

I turn to watch and immediately you make a silly face with your eyes and mouth. You are being funny and we both laugh at your silliness. After our laugh, I look away to tend to something else but soon enough I hear it again. “Watch me, Daddy. Watch me.”

But what you don’t realize, my son, is that I’m always watching you. And though I watch you every day, I can hardly believe how much you’ve grown up. Too soon, my son. Too, too soon. Yet, over the past few months, I’ve watched the little baby boy that I used to hold so closely to my chest on cold winter mornings leave me with nothing but gentle memories that tickle my consciousness like a warm breeze. Instead of that baby face, so soft and warm, I’ve watched a sweet little boy emerge. A little boy that loves to laugh. A little boy that loves to sing. A little boy that will dance to any music any time. A little boy that wants to be watched by his Daddy.

Yes, I’m watching you, my son. I’m watching you grow up right before my eyes and while part of me wants to desperately cling to the last few grains of sand in the hourglass of your infancy, I can no longer deny that you have become a little boy. A little boy who loves cars. A little boy who loves action heroes. A little boy who loves his Daddy.

Almost as much as his Daddy loves him.

Oh yes, I am watching you, my little boy. And someday, when I least expect it, I’ll look over and you’ll be all grown up. A young man who doesn’t want kisses on the cheek or rides on his Daddy’s back but will be more interested in non-Daddy things.

And that’s the bottom line of this parenting thing, isn’t it? As much as I love this phase of my life, my job is not to raise a child at all. Rather it is to raise a man. One who will be confident and kind and loving. And someday – someday too soon for my taste – I’ll look away for a moment and the little boy who snuggles next to me on the couch watching Curious George won’t be there anymore. He’ll be replaced by a man who has his own children and I’ll have to make due with “remember whens.”

So, yes my son. I’m watching you. I wouldn’t want to miss a thing.

13 Comments

  1. Yes, Matt, it does go by way too quickly. But if it is any
    consolation, grandparenting is even better!

    Comment by Aunt Raina — April 29, 2008 @ 8:11 am

  2. Beautiful. I now have tears streaming down my face and want to run in and wake my two just to hold them.

    Comment by Mam├íChanga — April 29, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  3. Oh so true. I never truly understood the meaning of “bittersweet” until I had my babies. Now it is all too clear.

    Comment by Kate — April 29, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  4. I can no longer deny that you have become a little boy.

    Don’t remind me… it’s gone too fast!

    Comment by Deanna — April 29, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

  5. I love your blog but this is by far my favorite entry. I must have my DH read it as I’m sure he feels the same way about our crew. Thanks for expressing it so beautifully for him.

    Comment by Cristalina — April 29, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

  6. You nailed it.

    Comment by whit — April 29, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  7. I agree, and understand, only to well. My daughter is 3 and my son is 5 mo. Every day I am watching, and the previous poster is right on the money…nothing is more bittersweet than enjoying the moments now, while at the same time knowing that one day these moments will be gone – replaced with new moments…ahhhh, parenting.

    Comment by Val — April 29, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  8. Oh geez, you got me choked up. You are so right. Thanks for sharing Matt.

    Comment by Laurie — April 29, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  9. I feel the same way but could never have put it in any better words. Too bad Mrs. Joe doesnt feel the same, maybe we couldve worked this out.

    Comment by above average joe — April 29, 2008 @ 7:10 pm

  10. Yeah, the similar happened to me…one day I was parenting 2 little boys and the next thing I know I am a grandmother of 2 little boys who remind me of their fathers. This is the best time of your life, carpe diem!

    Comment by Grandmother — April 29, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

  11. Well, that came out of nowhere and slayed me. I’m slain.

    Comment by KTP — April 30, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  12. Thanks for the reminder to love these years while my kids are young. Sometimes when you are in the trenches of child rearing it can be forgotten how fast the time goes and how one day we will miss these cherished moments.

    Comment by Tripp — May 1, 2008 @ 5:27 am

  13. Ouch, that hurts to even think of at this point. But to see Luke grow into an upstanding young man will be terrific in it’s own right. I will savor this, though while I have it. Thanks for the post, it resonated with me.

    Comment by James — May 1, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

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