I remember the day you were born
so tiny, with perfect features, all fingers
intact, your tiny bud mouth open in a wail,
your eyes lost in the fierceness of
your cry, waving your little fists in anger..
ready to take on the world…
I remember the feel of your little body
as it was placed in my rough hands
and the fierce sense of protectiveness
I suddenly felt for you, as you stopped
crying and stared into my face..the feeling
and responsibility of being your father…
I remember you learning to walk, holding
on to my fingers, your first birthday, your first
haircut, your first fall, the skinned knee
your magical smile, as I kissed it better..
the way you simply let go as you jumped into
my arms, trusting me to hold you…
I remember your first day at school, crying
to see me go, feeling I had abandoned you..
the bouts of fever which scared me, the sleepless
nights, your calling out for me in dreamy fright…
your unquestioning faith in me to put things right
your little hand in mine always pulling me on…
I remember how grown up you felt when
I let you go out on your own, when you dressed up
without help for the first time, when you learnt to
ride the bicycle, when you started deciding what
you want to wear, or what you want to eat…
making decisions as a part of growing up….
I remember all the various ‘firsts’ of your life
as they made you into an individual, slowly
taking your steps away from me…moving
into a different world, where I may not always
be around to put things right or kiss hurts away..
yet feeling fulfilled that I did the best I could do…
I remember the feeling of emptiness as you
left home in the pursuit of your dreams…
Now you are a father, you feel my pain and
understand all that I went through with you…
holding my gnarled fingers as I struggle to walk
You become my father, and I your son….