Thirty three odd years ago I became a father for the very
first time and it was, for me anyway, an experience of unparalleled joy. For my
wife it was more one of relief than joy, I think. The joy came a little later.
I cried when my son was delivered; actual, salty, baby
tears. I was not even a little embarrassed. As much as I loved my wife, this
was something different, almost spiritual in its emotional power and once
experienced, never forgotten. So much so that I pity the poor fathers of
yesteryear, who waited impatiently outside the ward and were shown in after
mother and baby were washed and respectable.
When my second son was born, nine years later, the
gynaecologist asked me if I would like to deliver him myself. Of course I
would, and did. And very nearly dropped him, not realising how slippery
new-born babies are!
And yes, I cried.
I’m a big baby when it comes to big emotional moments.
Joy for me equals tears, so when my son came back home after
two years in Seoul, I cried. I didn’t cry when he left; I left that for my
If there were in fact a way to measure joy, a Joyometer,
let’s call it, I would register very high on these high moments, as I tend to
be a very demonstrative person.
When my son received his degree, I had a lump in my throat
that, to the outsider, would have resembled a second Adam’s apple, and my eyes
were moist, even though I did not cry.
My wife had no such reservations: she cried openly.
Emotionally charged moments
Last year, when my eldest son married, it took all my
willpower not to cry, as I dearly love my daughter-in-law and, as I said to
her, if I could have gone out and chosen a woman for him, she would have been
the one I would have chosen. Weddings are emotionally charged moments anyway,
but when it’s your eldest son marrying someone so special, it makes it a moment
of exceeding joy.
The Joyometer, however, is broken. It was never meant to
handle the amount of stress it was put through today. It would have had to have
been made to resist a nuclear strike to withstand what it went through today.
I will not say I’m elated, because I’m not. Elated cannot
begin to cover it. Purple prose of the most vulgar or elegant sort could not begin
to describe my joy, for it has no bounds, nor should it. I could say I’m
ecstatic, but even there the poverty of language hinders what I want to
It’s not that I lack skill as a wordsmith, for I am able to
spin a yarn as well as any silkworm. It’s purely the paucity of language that
Today, no-one can steal my joy, for this joy comes up from
the wellsprings of my heart and that is completely boundless.
My wonderful daughter-in-law today gave birth to my first
grandchild, and the only thing that could make my joy more complete is if they
were here instead of Toronto and I could hold that little bundle of joy in my
Young Caspian is healthy and perfect in every way and,
thanks to the interwebs, we can see what he looks like and I don’t care who
this annoys, but God be praised for delivering this little miracle to us!