This is something I wrote back when I was a lot newer to this parent thing and was newly enchanted with her little face and her little body – I looked over at her father and realized just what we had co-created with God!

On the day your first child is born, you will find out something that you didn’t realize up until then: the person you married is a good person. In fact, the person you married is such a good person that you wanted to have children with them (and you did, in fact, have a child together). You find out, with the birth of your first child, that you are capable of together changing the world, and the change you bring about is another human being.

On the day your first child is born, you will look at your spouse and you see a new person, one who has never before existed: a parent. In this new person, there is a stamina that cannot be matched, a stamina that will allow them to get up all night long to feed and soothe a crying baby and still go to work the next day. This stamina will give them the grace to lug approximately fifty pounds of stuff in one trip, dance through puzzling car seat straps that would have a beginner in tears, and appreciate another person’s smile more than was previously possible.

On the day your first child is born, you will hold in your arms someone who never was, who never will be again, and who would not be if not for you. You will look at your spouse, and you will realize that the two of you hold a future in your control. Your child, small and helpless, is the most important adventure you will travel together, and it is the most lasting impact you will make in the world.

On the day your first child is born, you will realize that love is not a feeling, is not a decision, is not a one-word fill-in-the-blank kind of thing at all. You will know love in a way you could not have imagined, and you will almost burst when you see your spouse gazing down at this new little person. You will know heartbreak in that instant when you know love, because the love must break your heart, for it is too big to be held there.

On the day your first child is born, my love, you will know how we looked at you, and how we still look at each other.