This all started with you…

As my first post to this newfound idea of a blog, backstory to how we came to where we are in our lives is warranted.  With that, my first post will be a letter to my amazing son, for without him, none of this would be possible.

Dear Son,

The first time your mother and I ever laid eyes on you was February 7, 2014, during our first prenatal visit ultrasound, confirming that we were, in fact, pregnant and having a baby!  You were dancing around and fist-pumping like we were playing dance music, which turned out to be our earliest indication of your love for music.  Mommy even played music to you for the remainder of her pregnancy, especially your favorite song…”One Horse Town” by Blackberry Smoke.  Coincidently, before we found out we were pregnant, your first concert was Blackberry Smoke in St. Louis on January 23rd.  Back to the point…the adventure that awaited us shortly thereafter would bring us to your first home…Rosebud, SD.  We thought your first home was going to be Houston, TX.  While in college, we had decided that is where we ultimately wanted to be; so, while working in Evansville, IN, I began applying for various jobs, interviewed for a couple, and accepted one.  However, six days before loading up the moving truck and heading out of Flora, while standing in your grandparents’ living room, surrounded by all of our boxed up possessions, daddy’s phone rang and it was the Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital.   Within a three day period, I would be interviewed for, offered, and accept a nursing job that would bring us to a location to which your mother and I had never been.

Long before getting pregnant, we had decided we didn’t want to know your gender, leaving the most incredible surprise in our lives for the moment of your birth.  Therefore, our pre-baby purchases consisted of gender-neutral items, of which we were in no short supply by the time you were born.  Throughout mommy’s pregnancy, we were never really conscious of the idea that we should be getting out of debt and looking beyond the here-and-now attitude that so many people have in our great country.  That’s not to say that we were spending ourselves into bankruptcy and, thankfully, your mom and I have never been without.  However, we graduated college with considerable debt…primarily student loans, but also several thousand dollars worth of credit card debt.

The day you were born was the most incredibly exciting day of our lives.  Mommy and I woke up at three o’clock in the morning to make the three hour drive to Rapid City, where mommy was scheduled for an induction at 41 weeks pregnant.  Surprise number one of the day was that you also decided it was your day to be born and mommy started having contractions while eating oatmeal that daddy made for her.  By the time we left and reached the interstate, mommy was having contractions every five minutes the entire drive to the hospital.  Surprise number two for the morning came shortly outside of Rapid City, where an (insert expletive…I prefer dumb-fuck) decided to switch lanes in front of daddy, forcing me to drive off into the interstate median.  All safe-and-sound, we got back on the road and made it to the hospital without further interruption.  After getting settled by our awesome nurse, Gail, mommy and daddy walked about a million-and-a-half laps around the OB unit, trying to move you along in the process.  Eventually, your mom was artificially helped along with meds and, son, you need to know that your mom is a bad-ass.  All throughout her pregnancy, there was a running high-five-worthy joke that she was all about “team depidural!” (spelled incorrectly on purpose) and that she was going to take it ASAP.  However, she handled her ever-worsening contractions for several hours before she finally accepted the mild-relief it brought and then, surprise number three for the day…you were finally born! at 6:43 PM Mountain Time.

When Dr. Beshara flipped you up, revealing your manly nature, daddy did, in fact, say “holy shit!  It’s a boy!”  Not exactly what I anticipated my first words to be to you, but that’s alright.  Remember…quite often, the greatest moments in life are at least a little bit unplanned.  Throughout mommy’s pregnancy, we never did let ourselves find out whether you were a boy or girl so finally knowing was such a proud and overwhelming experience that, as I’m sure your mom has told you plenty of times already, daddy cried like a baby when I first picked you up.  Likewise, I’m sure she has also told  you that, while she was laboring on with Gail’s assistance, daddy left the hospital to get some food and, in the interest of having food for multiple meals, bought some bread and a rotisserie chicken from Walmart and brought it back to the hospital.  FYI…don’t do that.  A woman in pain who is only allowed ice chips doesn’t appreciate it.  The mother of your future child/ren won’t either…remember that.

So there you were…our son.  After all the waiting and anticipation, you were finally in our arms.  It was and continues to be the greatest moment of my life and I will cherish it forever.  Your amazing mother at our side only makes it that much more incredible.  I’m writing this fifteen months later and it still feels like yesterday.  You’re growing into such a wonderful little boy and you make me smile, laugh, and even a little crazy, every single day.  Watching you play with your Mr. Potato Head, running around the living room yelling Dadoo!, dancing to Pandora, and pestering Boo-Boo is my idea of a wonderful life.

Now back to why you were the catalyst for the changes we have made in our lives.  You were the spark of realization that life is no longer about us.  Everything that your mother and I do, for the rest of our lives, is to be for the betterment of you and your future family.  In the words of Dave Ramsey, we knew that we wanted to change our family tree and have a positive influence over how you and your progeny manage and utilize money for your advantage.  You were born 9/9, we brought your home on the 11th, and on September 18th, we realized we had work to do and sat down to figure out how we were going to do it.  Our credit card debt, spread across several cards, was $12,727.42, and we knew it was no longer acceptable to be skating by with slightly-above-minimum payments.  That crap had to go!

Daddy had read six Dave Ramsey books in a two week period, watched every YouTube video I could find, and we had a plan.  Tweaking a little spending and working overtime, we knocked our credit card debt out on March 3, 2015!  So thank you, son, for being the wonderful and inspiring person that you are.  I am truly proud and privileged to have you (and, of course, your mother) in my life.  I love you and look forward to the many adventures we will share throughout our lives.  Now it’s time to get back to one of my favorite parts of my days, playing toys and laughing with you!

Love,

Dad

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