My son, Jed

Today as I was putting Jed's pajamas on him, I laid him down on the bed and pretended to eat his tummy and in between his neck and shoulders. He just laughed and laughed. I'm still amazed at how much joy I received just by making him giggle and smile. It's almost overwhelming as I type this out how much emotion surfaces in me when I think about all that I feel as a dad.

But it's not just all the good I feel. Really, being a dad has brought on so much more emotion than before, I sometimes feel like a menopausal 50-year-old. It's almost too much- like a faucet with too much water coming out, my first instinct is to shut it off. I'm beginning to witness first-hand why so many dads just sink into the background emotionally as their children get older.

Hearing God refer to Himself as "father" seems so much comforting now. Comforting because if He can be perfect at fathering, this thing that has me scared with all of its complication and transparency, then the rest has to be covered. I guess I'm coming to find that fathering is a part of the journey inward to lead others outward. In the face of all my insecurities, I've never wanted a father so badly in all my life. I feel the need now more than ever.

I also feel Jed's need. It's the times when I feel like retreating and I hear Jed's slightly intelligible mumblings coming down the hall that I know I need to open my heart to him. I'm the one to teach him that men bear hug each other and growl when they wrestle. He just can't learn to be a man otherwise.

Jed's latest words: outside (eye-yide), poppa (po-po [with long o's]), pooh-pooh (he just says it over and over in the car), dog (he says it perfectly), druglord (just kidding, but we're working on it).