First Moments, First Thoughts - A Tiny Little Coda to "Baby"

by CE Fox

For Hannah



I'm a daddy.

You're so tiny. And wrinkled. But beautiful.

Absolutely perfect.

And Jean. She must be so tired. Sleep well, angel. Pete's gone, the nurse is gone, and Jimmy and I can sit here in the quiet and get to know each other.

Oops, sorry, Jimmy. Didn't see you looking up at me.

Yeah, it's Daddy. Can you say "daddy'?

Guess not.

Hi there, Sport.

You probably think this big ol' guy grinning at you is some kinda fool, don't you? I'd say something, but I don't want to wake up Mommy. I don't think I could get any words past the big knot in my throat anyway. I never understood it when women cry and say it's because they're so happy. But you know what, Sport?

Maybe now I do.

Hey, you smiled at me! At least I guess that was a smile.

Maybe it was just gas. But I'm gonna take it as a smile.

I must be boring you. You're asleep again already. At least you're not crying. I don't wanna have to wake up Mommy, and I'm not real sure yet what to do with you when you start crying.

Hope you like baseball and football and track. Hey, maybe I'm holding the next Babe Ruth or Joe Namath!

And basketball. You better like basketball. You might meet the woman of your dreams at a basketball game.

Maybe you'll be an astronaut. Or a great inventor. Or the President of the United States.

Or maybe . . . you'll be a cop like Daddy. That'd sure make me proud, but Mommy wouldn't like having to worry about two cops in the family, so you better find something safer. But if you wanna be a cop, I'll teach you everything I know.

And you'll learn a lot more from your Godfather Pete. Yeah, ol' Pete doesn't know it yet, but he's gonna be your godfather. Don't worry . . . you'll like Pete. He's the best friend a guy could have.

You don't weigh much, but why do I suddenly feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders?

I'm scared.

What if I screw up?

What if when I'm not looking, you fall?

What if when my back is turned, you get into the medicine cabinet?

What if when I'm not there to defend you, some playground bully pushes you around?

What if when you're older some pusher offers you a joint or a hit or a red and I'm not around to help you say no?

I'm scared.

Lord, give me wisdom.

And assurance.

Lots of assurance that You'll put angels all around my boy when I'm not there.

I'm worried.

What if you get sick?

What if the bills pile up and I can't afford to get you that new bike?

What if I can't make enough money to send you to college?

What if something happens to me on the job and you have to grow up without me?

I'm worried.

Lord, provide for us. Spare an angel for me while I'm working.

I'm already lonely.

What if when I'm not looking, you suddenly grow up?

What if after you grow up and move out, you forget about your old man?

I'm already lonely.

Lord, keep him a child for as long as possible.

And help me and Jean let him go when the time comes.

I'm happy.

God, I am so happy.

You're right. There's nothing I can do but my best. The rest is up to You and Jimmy.

And Lord?



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