Dear Declan

Dear Declan,

Today was a bittersweet day. You’re not even 2, so you don’t really understand subtle things, but Mommy and I were both a bit sad today…I think you picked up on that. I’m sorry we brought you down, but thanks for making us smile and laugh anyway.

This was the last day you and I will have together, just the two of us, where you’re an only child. I hope you know how special these Saturday’s have been over the last 2 years. Trips to the store, trips to the park, playing around in the backyard, going to the museum, wrestling, cuddling, watching Mickey/George/Elmo/Sherman/whatever you wanted…I will always cherish those memories. Yes, there were days when we had company and I gladly slept a lot. I needed those breaks for my sanity, but know my heart was with you. I regret spending too much time on my phone/tablet/computer, whether it was for legitimate reasons or not. Watching you play, have conversations with Mickey, discover new things, and then look up at me and beckon me with a “Daddy see?”…these are things I will miss, things that happen all the time and yet never often enough. I’ll never get tired of your smile, your laugh, your hugs and kisses…I get tired of life and the junk that comes with being an adult, but you make those things worthwhile. I’m sorry I don’t show you that enough. I’m working on it.

I will love Riley just as much as you. I will love you just as much as Riley. It might seem like I’m showing her more attention than you, but she’s little and needs help. You’re a big boy, capable of so many marvelous things, and you’ll show Riley the way to be amazing just like her big brother. But for now she’ll need to be held, to be fed, to be changed, to be soothed…all things I did for you and loved every second of it. 

I cannot even fathom what life will look like in three weeks when Riley is here. I don’t understand how my heart continually gains the capacity to love you more and more each day, and I certainly don’t understand how it will be able to do that for two of you. But it will, and I need you to trust me on that. You trust me to care for you, to catch you when you jump off the table, to rescue you when Mommy’s being mean and trying to make you go to sleep/take a bath/eat vegetables…trust me that you are my best friend.

Thank you for spending time with me and making me into a better man. We’ll hang out a lot over the next decades, but it won’t be the same. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way life is. Riley will make our family special in ways we can’t imagine, and you two will have so much fun over your lifetimes together…I’ve been there. I know how incredible sisters are. But when you look up at me and beckon, and I’m looking at her instead of you…

Know this:

I still love you. I’ll always love you.  You will always be my little boy, my buddy, my son. 

Love, Daddy