A Letter to Decker – On Having Kids

by Byron on November 17, 2012

Decker,

If no one ever tells you, having kids is hard.  You know all you have to do to succeed is keep the baby, yourself, and your family alive, safe, and happy.  You really aren’t sure if it can be done.  And most days, the “alive” part of the equation is all that matters.  Happy is just too lofty a goal.

Despite my best efforts, I’ll never be able to describe to you what having a kid is like, or how hard it is.  You just have to do it.

You’re not quite a month old, Decker.  You test my strength on a daily basis.  You can’t do a thing for yourself.  You poop and you eat and you sleep.  Occasionally you make a new or strange noise.  Sometimes you show the beginnings of a smile.  Usually it just means you’re peeing.

You’ve made me appreciate my parents – your grandparents – in a whole new way.  I joked last week that I never appreciated what they did for me.  I was lucky they didn’t put me outside in a basket and say, “Good luck.”

But lest you think I’m going to put you outside in a basket with nothing but well wishes in the middle of winter, let me tell you what I think the point might be.  Let me tell you what I’m in it for.

You’ve started laughing in your sleep.  You are literally laughing.  You cannot even hold your head up straight, but this sound is clearly a laugh, and it’s accompanied by a smile.  You might only be pooping or getting ready to launch some throw-up, but I imagine that you’re remembering something funny your mom said yesterday, or picturing the dog’s nose coming at your face full speed.  At this point, I’m not sure you know who I am or who you are, and I’m not sure you even know that we’re different entities.  Therefore, I doubt it’s whimsical memories from three days ago.  But what do I know?  Maybe we’re not even different entities.  Maybe you’re the one who has it all figured out.

But more to the point, it fills me with happiness.  That laughing makes me content with life.  It makes me not worry about all my little plans and designs.  It makes me stop thinking about myself.  It makes me smile.  And for all that, I’m so grateful to you and to God.

You pee on me.  I have to handle your shit many times a day.  I worry often about the position of your body.  You forcefully let me know you’re there at least every few hours.  All this, and I’m grateful to you.  That’s something miraculous.  And miraculous means of the nature of a miracle.  You are nothing less, Decker Matthew Warnken.  You are a miracle through and through.  You are one of the major points to my life.

Thanks for the giggling.  I love you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bonnie November 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

Made me cry ; made me laugh … loved you then, still , and always … Byron, Mandy, and … Decker. XO

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