My Dear Son,
In just a few short days or weeks, your whole world is going to change.
When they place that new baby angel in your arms, something amazing happens.
There's this primal, overflow of gushing love that will erupt from your core like Vesuvius on its absolute best lava day. You won't be sure where it comes from. Where it was hiding. But out it streams when you see her tiny squinted face, her delicate lashes, her perfect little... everything.
You thought you had protective instincts before? It's nothing like what you already feel about protecting your wife, your friends, family and even your country. This is your daughter. She will rule your heart and drive your decisions from now on.
You'll be DADDY. And an amazing one, I'm sure. You've had that kid vibe since YOU were a kid. You helped the quiet ones blossom. And calm the hyper ones. Now you'll have one of your own.
I am sure you're hearing - as I did when I adopted you - scads of advice that parenting won't be easy. It's not. But it will be the most rewarding, demanding job this side of Boot Camp. With even worse hours. HER hours.
And not only will she have you stepping to her schedule (at least in the beginning) but she will be WATCHING YOU constantly. From that first day, until your last.
You are now an example of what she will be, could be. You are teaching her the good and the bad.
You will be her guidepost… her starting-out place for choices she will make in her life. Choices that will determine her happiness, her well-being, her habits, her safety, her goals. Yeah, you’re in the parenting Army now… and you’re training this little soldier on HOW to live the right way, just by how YOU live. Scary, huh?
Not really. Because you’re a good man. With good values. Good disciplines. And you have a fantastic wife. You’ll both be great examples. You both are united in being the best parents in everything you do. Even when you both don't know what to do.
This parent thing is a whole new gig. No experience you’ve had … no army drill sergeant, physical training masochist, play-off driven coaches, SAT-score-crazed teachers, come-to-Jesus Sunday school lecturers or one of my loudest Banshee parental rants... will ever prepare you for what happens when the doctor passes this new beautiful life to you.
Because when her little hand grips your finger, it’s really your heart. It's hard to discipline what you love most.
But you'll learn to. For her sake and yours and Maura's. Because the best kids have firm boundaries, just like the best soldiers. But you'll figure that out, among many other things.
You won’t be perfect. You will make mistakes. But as long as you do what you feel is right in your heart, and you communicate and gain consensus with Maura, you will be just fine.
You will both be just fine. In fact, much better than fine. You have support. And love. And each other. Plus, a legion of family and friends who want to help. So don't do this alone! Speak up! Reach out. You asking for a break will be our joy, our precious moments with her. And you get to be that individual, that athlete, that movie-lover, that couple again, which is so important for your happiness and sanity.
Time will zoom by. You’ll wonder what happened to all those little moments you cherished. When she’s nestled on your chest. Playing in your lap. Riding horsey on your back. Wrestling with you on the floor. Gripping your hand to cross the street. Tugging at your car keys. Walking the aisle on your arm. And the whole time, held within your adoring gaze. At every stage of life.
Savor it. Savor HER.
And when you hit that rewind button on your life… you will mark some of your happiest moments as those surrounding HER. Sometimes the big things. But often just the little things that only you and she will know. Now that you will know the absolute bliss of this secret club called Parenthood.
Welcome to the club, my son. Welcome to the world of absolute joy that I entered when YOU were placed in my arms 28 years ago.
You got this.
With unending love and joy...
Your adoring Mamacita
Mary Ellen Sokalski
Diva of Direct Marketing.