This is a letter from Bennett's Daddy.
I asked Philip to write about Bennett's birth, from his perspective.
My how time flies. It has been a whole year since our son Bennett Roy was born. The events of January 26, 2010 changed my life in so many ways. Priorities changed, paradigms shifted and life sped up tenfold. I participated in the most extreme and important event of my life. Extreme in every way possible; physical, emotional and spiritual. Important, not only because a new life was born into this world, but because their are very few times in this life that any of us get to see pure beauty.
I have talked to many fathers and potential fathers about the birth of their children. A high percentage of them did not, or plan not to, participate in the actual experience. Often by their own choice, but occasionally at the insistence of their spouse that they not be in the room. I think this is sad. Here is why:
For me, it was one of the hardest nights of my life. Seeing my wife go through such pain caused me enough emotional stress that I felt as though I was going though the pain myself. I am in no way comparing my pain to her's, just explaining that it was hard for me. As the long night turned into a long day, both of us became completely worn out and unprepared for how hard the last hour of the birth would be.
I am not going to delve into the bloody details. We have all seen the videos in health class. We know that it isn't exactly pretty, but there is purpose in it all. The best things in life are not free, and the same is true for any pure experience. You will never feel closer to someone than when you both willingly delve into the depths of pain together. You will never feel completely part of the gritty natural world than when you become part of it in such a way. Most importantly, you will never ever feel closer to God than when you witness the birth of your own child.
I mentioned that the opportunities to witness pure beauty are few. I wasn't referring to the actual act of birth, although there is beauty to be found there. I have come to realize that true beauty is found in potential. We love people, not because of their physical appearance, but because of the potential we see in them. This beauty is hard to find because of all the ugliness we sort through in our daily lives. I know now, after January 26, 2010, that our only chance to see pure beauty, pure potential, is to see the first breath of our own children. In that brief, indescribable moment, which has been paid for by the preceding pain, we can feel pure love. I love my wife, and I love my son, Bennett Roy.
-Philip (aka Daddy)
More from the 'Celebrating Bennett's 1st Year' Series:
- Guest post by Aunt Alissa - on becoming an Aunt
- Gust post by Aunt Nichole - on how being a Father has changed Philip
- A Letter From Yia-Yia (Grandma)