Petersen always told me, "The kid makes everything worth it."
So far, it's the truest thing he ever said.
For those of you who know me (and let's face it, if you're reading this fucking blog, you know me), I am not the touchy-feely sort, especially with the writing. I once had an editor call "Chuckles" "sentimental," but that was because she was a dipshit grad student at a rinky-dink lit mag who clearly misread my story about a fat kid's puppy getting run over by a car as tragic. I mean, if you read the line "lapping my thick sausage fingers with his hot puppy tongue" as anything but humorous, you're clearly drinking the Derrida. I don't write poetry. Because poetry is stupid. And sentimental. Nobody gives a shit about "bats flying o'er win'er's morn." So please take what I am about to say at face value, devoid of all senitment: seeing your son smile at you first thing in the morning is as good of a feeling as you'll ever have. Better than your best wake-up fix. Better than waking up next to the hottest blonde model you've bedded. Better than waking up learning you're a millionaire. I don't care what your story, nothing comes close.
You wake up. It's dark. Didn't have the best night's sleep, tormented by black vague dreams. You're running in a dirty alley or sobbing in an abandoned German factory, crappy Kraftwerk soundtrack and all, gray skies, and you're aching because your body is falling part, back spasming, hip daggers stabbing, and the kid's fussing in his crib, and you just wish the damn thing had an off switch sometimes because you just want to sleep another half an hour, and you get to his crib, and when he looks up and smiles at you with that big goofy face, a smile just for you, you'd have to be a heartless prick not to melt inside and go all squishy.
This life has been mostly a shiftiest for me. I've had so few quantifiable successes, and so so many uncontested failures. But my son, Holden, makes up for it all, even when he won't watch the damn Wiggles and let me write and is making me post this early before I come to one of my patented revelations. My shrink suggested yesterday that I begin every day with a letter to my son. I said OK but had no intention of doing that because it'd be, well, stupid. And sentimental. So this is definitely not a letter to my son, who is five months old, can't read yet, and in all likelihood doesn't know what planet he is on. But if it were, I'd just say, "Your dad loves you, kiddo." More than you could possibly know...