Guest Post: First Things

Hi, this is Megan’s husband, Justin.  My wife has graciously leased me a tiny corner of MegaGood territory so that I can ramble a bit this afternoon.  I am entirely too inconsistent and self-conscious to build my own spot, so I applaud all of you–especially my wife–for having the courage to share so much in this medium.  You guys (girls?  ladies? moms? dads? cats?) rock.

Here’s a list of First Things that I look forward to seeing/experiencing with my son and my wife.  Feel free to add your own in the comments–things you would look forward to, or things you really remember from past experiences.

The list is in no particular order and I left out many of the obvious specific ones, like hearing him talk or seeing him walk.  I made this list because I am absolutely mind-$#*&^$ by the concept of re-experiencing “Firsts” through the eyes of my kid.  It’s long, and not really funny, and there’s no great pictures, but maybe Megan can edit.

Firsts!

  1. He reads his first book. This has a special meaning to me because reading has played such a huge role in my own life.  For as long as I can remember, the written word has been a refuge for me in introvert re-charge times and the catalyst for my imagination.  I can’t wait to see him journey into that world himself.
  2. He consciously enjoys the presence of a large family party. I’m not going to lie, my wife and I have pretty large family gatherings from time to time and they are always an awesome time.  I never really appreciated how nice it was to have consistent contact with extended family until we all moved apart.  To see him begin to love and recognize them as we do will be amazing.
  3. He competes for the first time. There’s two parts to this really.  I will love to see him work hard for something and succeed.  Maybe even more, I look forward to seeing him lose at something and learn how to handle that well.  It’s cliche but that doesn’t make it any less true.  Winning is good, but having the character to get back up after losing is better and a lot more useful.
  4. He makes his first real friends. You know what I mean.  Those friends that are as close or closer than family.  The ones you don’t call for months, then see, and nothing’s changed even though everything has.  Hopefully he’ll get into less trouble with his than I got into with mine, but he’ll know they’re in it together no matter what.
  5. He makes his first real contact with nature/animals. This is the Colorado in me.  Growing up in Chicago, he won’t have the instant access to the same world that I did.  But there is something visceral, spiritual, and incredibly important in seeing the beauty of the outside world and realizing the miracle that’s out there.  I hope we can help him see it.
  6. He watches Star Wars with him for the first time. Or LOTR—any of the nerd subjects I like.  I know there will probably be a lot of nerd interests he doesn’t share, but everyone likes jedis, right?  Is he going to like Han or Luke?  Maybe he’ll be a weirdo that liked Chewbacca best.  I’ve already called dibs on dressing him as Yoda for Halloween while he’s too young to know better.
  7. His first romantic interest awkwardly stumbles along. I imagine this falls into the category of “things I’m not supposed to know about” as far as he’s concerned.  I know his early interactions will be full of heartbreak and an irrational attachment of importance.  I know that seeing him hurt will hurt me too.  I hope I can help when he wants it.
  8. He shows empathy and compassion for someone he doesn’t know. Such a basic thing, but still something that I know will affect me deeply when I first see it in him.
  9. He moves out! “Hah!” you say.  “You haven’t even changed diapers yet, you have awhile!” you say.  True, but I can only imagine that moment as a supreme mix of pride and pain.
  10. My wife teaches him..anything. I picture this as Megan teaching him to draw, paint, or shoot pictures.  I see him learning from her, picking up the amazing gifts that she has.  Everything he learns will be coming at him from two angles, two experiences, and I can’t wait to get to know Megan better through the ways she teaches Baby Boy Boley.
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6 responses to “Guest Post: First Things

  1. thanks for sharing, justin. you’re going to be a wonderful dad. i wish you and megan endless hours of joy as you witness baby boley’s many “firsts.”

  2. Justin, I enjoyed what you wrote for numerous reasons. It’s so good to write about these feelings. In retrospect, they will be windows into your experiences. It is wise to get these thoughts and feelings into form. Thank you for sharing them.
    Love,
    Carole Anne

  3. Grandpa-to-be Hochstetler

    Well Justin, you finally did it! Congratulations to you for sharing some of these rather profound fatherly feelings. I’ll second the emotion!

  4. super cute blog! i love your photos.

    and having boys is the BEST! i have two… never a dull moment!

    i enjoyed the post from the dad-to-be! i get suck a kick out of when my son (4 years old) makes his OWN friends at school. not my friends kids. he comes home and rambles on about his own pals.
    granted not likely lifelong friends. but its really cute.
    the other day another little 4 or 5 year old said to his mom “hey… that’s jack’s mom”!
    i was like- hey. thats me!!!!

  5. There is only ONE thing that I know for certain. Children are full of surprises both good and bad. They are a blessing of love and will bring insights, challenges and intense emotions for a lifetime. I know your sensitivity, intelligence and love will make you an incredible father. I hope your loyal love with Megan will grow and know no bounds. She is incredible and will be a fabulous mother. We are looking forward to our next stage of parenthood; grandparents. Wow. Your proud Mom

  6. Such a sweet endearing truthful little post. The thought of you thinking of these brought a slight well to my eyes. Good luck and enjoy these first’s as they come!

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