Monday, July 5, 2010

A Poem for Timmy

One Day / Right Now

One day you won't need me the way you do now.
You won't need me to tuck you in--to check for bedtime monsters.
You won't need me to tie your shoelaces or to show you how to shoot a jump shot; you'll already know.
You won't need me to help you with your homework or your book reports because you won't have anymore.

One day you'll move out and start your own life; you won't need me to provide for you though I hope you'll still come to me for advice or just to talk.
You'll be teaching me how to use some new piece of technology and I'll be amazed at the wonders of our world.
You'll promise that you'll visit or call and I'll believe you...because you will.
One day you'll ask me not to drive you all the way to school or to the movies...and I'll understand.
You'll ask me for the car keys for the first time and I'll be praying silently that it won't be the last.
You'll be too big for hugs and kisses but you'll turn to me one time, out of the blue, and you'll tell me that you love me.

One day you'll teach your son all the things I've taught you and you'll understand what I'm only now learning myself: that you can't possibly understand how much you have been loved until you become a parent yourself.
You'll learn what it means to be accountable to someone else--to be relied upon truly and completely by this amazing, tiny life that you helped to create.
You'll wonder what it was like when you were little and you'll read my writings to you and you'll discover how much I've loved you from the moment I found out I was going to be a Dad.

In a few years...

you'll be flipping your tassel.
You'll look for us in the crowd and will find us smiling and crying; maybe you'll be doing the same.
You'll be thinking about your last summer "as a kid"; your Mom and I will be thinking about how you used to fit into newborn clothes and ate from such a tiny bottle.
You'll be up until 3am talking with your friends and then you'll lie down, wondering what your adulthood will be like--what the rest of your life will hold for you.
Your Mom and I will lay in bed and talk about how we used to be up with you at 3am (and later!).
I'll tell her how I would lay with you on my chest, talking to you, wondering what your childhood will be like--what the rest of your life will hold for you.

In a few years...

you'll be a teenager.
You won't be able to wait to learn how to drive; your Mom and I won't be able to wait to teach you.
You'll accuse me of not understanding you...but I will, more than you can know.
You'll tell me that I'm ruining your life by not letting you go to the movies or to that party; I'll know that you don't really want to go anyway and just need to use me as an excuse...and I'll be happy to help.
You'll hate that you're not an adult yet even though at times you'll wish for nothing more than just to be a kid again; I'll be feeling those same things for you.

In a few years...

you'll have your first kiss.
You'll feel like you're finally understanding the world.
You'll fall in sweet, young love for the first time...and then you'll come crashing out of it.
You'll wake up one day and realize that you're too big for your toys and your stuffed animals and you'll ask your Mom for help with putting them away.
Then, when you're alone, you'll cry your eyes out...but not nearly as much as she will.

In a few years...

you'll have your own room and your own bed.
You won't be sleeping in your crib or your pack and play; you'll be a big boy with his own bed.
You'll bolt into the bedroom with the first flash of lightning and boom of thunder.We'll make room for you and you'll snuggle down between us until the storm is over...and maybe just a little longer.

In a few years...

you'll start school.
You'll look back over your shoulder with your little lunchbox in hand and your oversized bookbag hanging from your shoulder.
You'll wave at me and I'll wave back and, just like that, you'll turn around and disappear inside.
You might have a tear in your eye and an ache in your heart that you've never felt before.
I definitely will.

In a few months...

you'll be walking.
You'll be running all over the house, keeping me on my toes; I'll be chasing you.
You'll test every single square inch of the house and will find the one spot that I didn't baby proof.
You'll explore the world around you with boundless energy and limitless curiosity; I'll share in your excitement with each discovery that you make.
You'll be taking your first steps towards your independence and, as excited as I'll be by your milestone, a part of me--just a part--will wish you were still too little to set those cute, pudgy little legs in motion.

In a few weeks...

you'll be eating solid foods.
I'll have the pleasure and challenge of getting a bowlful of mush into your mouth with a little rubber spoon.

You'll realize that playing with your food is much more fun than eating it.
I'll lose my patience but find my sense of humor...covered in strained peas and mushed carrots.

In a few hours...

I'll wake up and show this to your Mom.
She'll cry because she doesn't want you to grow up and because she knows exactly what I'm trying to say.
She'll cry because she knows exactly how I feel: how I want you to stay this small forever.
She'll laugh when you make your raspberries--especially the loud ones.

In a few minutes...

I'll have to bring you downstairs.
Your Mom will wrap you up in your teddy bear sleep sack and summertime swaddle blanket.
We'll kiss you goodnight and put you in your pack and play so that you can sleep in the air conditioning with us.
I'll place my head on my pillow and lay in the darkness, listening to your little noises, marveling at the fact that, this time last year, I was still waiting to see you for the very first time...
I'll look forward to cuddling with you in the morning, after you have your special time and first feeding of the day with Mommy.
I'll think about how special and fleeting these moments with you are...


Right now, I'm laying with you fast asleep on my chest.
I'm watching the rise and fall of your chest, feeling your tiny breath against my face.
I'm thinking about how excited I am about all of the awesome things we'll do together in the time ahead.


I'm also thinking about how much I'm going to miss times like this--feeling your heartbeat syncopating with mine.
I'm looking at you and I'm still trying to comprehend the amazing fact that I make up half of your entire world.
I'm watching you sleep and I'm putting to rest all of my thoughts and feelings about you growing up and not being little anymore; about you not needing me as much...


Right are that little.
Right do need me that much.
Right now...I'm your everything and you're mine too.


Right now?

That's all I need.