What have you done to the mirror?
What have you done to the floor?
Can’t I go nowhere without you?
Can’t I leave you alone any more?
Can’t I leave you alone any more?
One year ago yesterday on March 1st I drove my wife along snow-covered county roads to what would be her final OB appointment before we’d hit her due date for what would be the birth of our third(and final) little Hubner. The doc informed us that she was 3 cm dilated and that if we wanted to just head over to the hospital and get settled in we could. Since there was no great rush, we decided to go grab breakfast before the big wait. We dined on crepes and omelets and then drove in what I would describe as a blizzard down US 30 West two miles to Kosciusko Community Hospital and indeed settled in. After a day of crappy TV, hospital food, and uncomfortable naps our son, Owen Christopher, was born at nearly 2 am on March 2nd, 2005.
I know you don’t think much of me
But someday you’ll understand
Wait’ll you learn how to talk, baby
I’ll show you how smart I am
I want to show you how smart I am
As far as births go, it was a pretty easy one. Given that our oldest was a long and painful birth, and our middle child was a whopping 10lbs, 3 ounces(the nurse was literally pushing down on my wife’s stomach to force her out), Owen came relatively quietly and with little drama. My wife’s stepmom stayed with our girls so I could be up at the hospital for the duration. My wife made the hospital stay a two-for-one deal and the next day had a tubal ligation. It wasn’t that our son was a “whoopsie baby”, more than he was an “oh shit” baby. We had two beautiful daughters and had hit the child quota we’d created in our heads. Christ, we’d just bought a brand new Honda Civic…perfect for a family of FOUR. There was no chance of another baby coming into Hubner the family quotient.
Well, the family quotient flew out the Honda Civic’s window(we ended up trading that in late summer of 2004 for a Honda Odyssey.)
Now my “oh shit” baby is now a 12-year old young man. It’s such a cliche thing to say but I’m gonna say it anyways: where did the time go? I can’t imagine our lives without “the boy”. I think he’s a balancing force in the house. He’s the mediator between two sisters constantly butting heads, he’s the board game partner to a mom that loves board games, and he’s dad’s partner-in-crime when it comes to watching horror movies, spinning soundtracks, and hitting up the local comic book shop.
Before I had a son I always thought the whole “father and son” bonding thing was a myth. Sure, I bonded with my dad and all when I was a kid, but I remember spending lots of time by myself in my room getting lost in Star Wars battles and Van Halen cassettes. My dad and I never had things in common that we loved together(well, maybe great Philly cheese steaks and MAD magazine.) I just looked up to him because he was this hulking figure that put a roof over our head and fixed things in the house when they were broke(or spent all of Christmas morning affixing decals to Kenner and Hasbro toys.) Plus, having two daughters and having the connection with them that I had I just couldn’t imagine how I could love more than that.
A quitter never wins
A winner never quits
When the going gets tough
The tough get going
But raising this little guy into a bigger guy I can see there is something to this father/son dynamic. I love my kids equally. That’s a no-brainer. But seeing my son grow from a cooing baby to a polite young man, and all that came in-between, I can say the heart grows to accommodate the love that you uncontrollably develop. Ones capacity to love never stops growing. It’s an ongoing construction site, the heart. My son has opened my head and heart and made me a better person, better dad, and a better listener. He’s been my buddy from the beginning, and I hope it stays that way.
So on today, March 2nd, the boy turns 12. One year away from teendom and a whole new stretch of awkward road for him to travel. I know teen angst is coming, so I’m going to enjoy hopefully one more year of the kid that loves hitting the comic book shop with his old man. And going to used record shows on Sunday mornings. And the boy that loves playing board games and card games with his mom. And one more birthday gift wish list that’s dominated by Marvel collectors action figures and a request for a taco fiesta for the birthday dinner.
Maybe you don’t know how to walk, baby
Maybe you can’t talk none either
Maybe you never will, baby
But I’ll always love you
I’ll always love you
Time flies, baby. So keep up.