Ever since my wife and I began to share the news of our expected baby, I have been offered a great many words of wisdom. One of the most common came from parents telling me that when the child is born my life will change forever. Being an expecting parent, I think I took that for granted. I assumed that my wife and I would give and receive unconditional love from our child. I also thought it was a little reminder of the days of old when we would get a full nights rest without the need to feed and change soiled diapers in the dead of night.
While I think I am right on all counts, I don’t think I ever understood what unconditional love really was until I had a child of my own. Sure, I love my wife, I love my parents and siblings, I love my nieces and nephews, and I even love my dog, but it is nothing like the wave of emotion that hits you the first time you look into the eyes of your child.
I watched my daughter enter this world and be placed onto my wife’s belly to be cleaned up. When she was nestled onto my wife, she stopped crying and looked around the room as if taking in the world. Her eyes were so wide and bright that I was speechless. When those eyes fell on me I felt a lump swell in my throat. She took my breath away.
Just thinking about that moment while I type this is making me all misty-eyed. If there is anything as powerful as that moment, I have yet to experience it. Perhaps you just have to be a parent to understand the kind of emotional reaction I’m trying to convey to you. In any case it was simply amazing and I’ll never forget it.