I am a deeply flawed man.
And have been so for most of my adult life. Prone to drink too much. Much too quick to fight. Way too slow to forgive. Often times an angry and judgmental old curmudgeon.
Up until I married my lovely wife 11 years ago, I was a selfish and self-indulgent prick. She’s managed to mellow me somewhat over the course of the last decade. But it wasn’t until our boy Cash was born last year that my life was truly transformed.
Yeah…I’ve been drinking tonight.
I stopped by Twin Liquors on the way home from work to buy a handle of Crown Royal Reserve as a thank you present to my neighbor and dear friend who took us hunting last weekend. And, being the gracious and genuine friend that he is, he immediately broke the seal and insisted (with much arm-twisting, I assure you) that I help him break it in.
But the combination of some really good whiskey and some major family milestones — our boy got his first hair cut today and is starting to really walk (as opposed to furniture surfing) this week — has got me feeling a bit introspective. Twice this week, he crawled over to my chair, and tried to climb up into my lap, wanting nothing more than to sit and cuddle with his daddy. I had no idea…but there is nothing better than than in the entire world.
Yeah, that’s right…I’m drunk blogging. Excuse me for infringing on your niche, Stephen Green.
Anyway, as I crawled into bed just a few minutes before midnight, I pulled out my computer to check my social networks, and found these pictures of our boy that my wife had just posted this evening. And I was nearly brought to tears.
Of pure joy and happiness.
Over the past few weeks it has occurred to me that the arrival of our son has done something that neither marriage or time would have accomplished on its own — it’s made me a better man and a better person.
I can’t quite explain it, but that is what has happened. I’m sure any parents who are reading this are just shaking their heads in understanding.
But as I sit here in the dark, with nothing but the glow of the computer and the gentle breathing of my best friend, my partner, my love sleeping gently beside me, with our son — our miracle, our gift from God — dreaming in his crib upstairs…I realized that I am a changed man. A better man. I am truly blessed. And I did not want this moment of happiness and awareness to pass by without acknowledging it in some way.
UPDATE: The next morning, got up at 4:30 with the wife and boy and made the nearly 4 hour drive across the state to Winnie, TX to visit my mom at her shop. My two brothers and their broods showed up, too, so we were able to get this family photo of all the living Cooper men: me and my two brothers, my youngest brothers two sons, and my younger brother’s grandson (10 months old):