Thursday, August 5, 2021

When we first brought home a boy child

My son Jared celebrates his 23rd birthday today. He is the middle of our five children, and as I've often related, I did not at first believe he was a boy, even at the moment of his birth.

We never found out the gender of any of our kids in advance, and by the time Terry was pregnant with Jared, we already had two daughters. I don't know why, but I had it in my head that I was only capable of producing girls. I figured my fate was to live in a house full of women, and I was completely fine with that. I liked being a dad of daughters (and still do).

The moment Jared made his entrance into the world, one of the medical personnel in the room (either Dr. Rao or one of the nurses, I'm not sure which) held him up and said, "It's a boy!" And my honest-to-goodness response was, "No, it's not!"

Then of course they turned him around so I could get a better view of things, and it became frightfully apparent that he was, without a doubt, a man-child. It was impressive, actually.

I was used to changing girls' diapers and dressing my kids in girls clothes, so the boy thing took a little adjustment, but it was fine. Jared was a good-sized specimen, too, weighing in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces, and as I recall, measuring 21 inches tall.

Nowadays he's 6-foot-1, works out regularly, sports a beard I could never grow, and is fast becoming a master handyman, mostly by watching instructional videos on YouTube and trying to fix and build things on his own.

He is about four months from earning his college degree and beginning his career, though he has had a lot of great sports internships and is building for himself a nice little resume.

He and I share a love for Cleveland sports and for hockey in general. We also both like cats.

He's a good guy and I'm very proud of him. I would be equally proud if he was a "her," but as it turns out, they weren't lying at the hospital.

My boy really was a boy.

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