Counting down the days between now and when I’ll hold you for the first time seems like an eternity. I just spent the last two weeks switching out bedrooms so you and your big brother can share the master bedroom and still have a room for the office. I painted it blue and gray. I built your dresser and your crib and put up these little whale stickers on the wall above it. Put a light switch in the closet for your brother to reach when he needs to get his toys so he’s not in the dark. I even took off the closet door to make it easier for him to get in and out. You’ll appreciate that too when you’re bigger. I put the baby camera in just the right spot to make sure your mom and I can see the whole room from the monitor. Tossed everything we didn’t need in the trash and put everything else in storage. Got some Giants onesies and bibs so you’ll be ready for your first football game with us too. There’s so much to be excited for.

I walk into your room a countless number of times a day. I triple check to make sure the camera is positioned right. That the light switch for the closet works. I look up at the edge of where the ceiling and the walls meet and think, not perfect but not that bad a freehand job and not taping up the ceiling like I know I should have because I do know better. If I asked anyone they’d tell me flat paint in a kid’s room is a horrible choice but I like the way it came out. Your mom hated the blue I picked out until I put it on the walls. She says the way the sun hits it from the window makes it look pleasantly bright. I’ve been so meticulous about the details. The curtains. Everything. I just want us to be ready to bring you home. Me, your mom, your big brother, the rest of your family, we can’t wait to meet you.

The truth is though, I’ve been afraid to get excited about you. My only regrets are that I can’t control the stability of the world you’re coming into. Much has changed in this world since I was born and even more drastically in the little time between the day your brother took his first breath almost 4 years ago to the day you’ll take yours. I’m a different man. Less inspired. More cynical. My hair is a little more silver and gray and I can’t quite land that 360° layup from under the rim like I used to. My jumper off the stop and go is still solid though. I’ll show ya sometime. I’ll still be running and jumping with you like I do Joseph and those are the times that will make for some great memories. I’ve become more selfish with my time and attention. I can’t change the world and I can’t change people. I won’t let fear get in the way of being excited about you and being your dad anymore. I’m wishing nothing but health and happiness for you. I’m a man of my feelings. I wonder everyday if I’m doing a good enough job as a father to your brother and trying to do this for two boys at the same time petrifies me. Especially in a world with so much potential that still seems as bleak as ever. But I don’t care about how great people think I am, or if they agree with me, or if they even like me. I only care that I do what’s best for you. That I continue to prepare you and your brother to grow up to be beautiful men with dignity and honor with a great sense of awareness and the ability to understand consequences while navigating the difficulties of society.

I love you. You and your brother will be reflections of the kind of man I wished I was when I was younger. You two will always be the best part of me. I didn’t have my dad and I didn’t get close to many people so I need to be for you everything the men of my life weren’t for me. I just want you to enjoy your youth. It’s so important to laugh at every chance you get. Your brother will teach you the ways of poop and fart jokes because he’s a grandmaster at them and he’s hilarious. We’ll have dance parties and run around the kitchen table often. It’s gonna be a great life.

If I could give you any advice early it would be to become your own person. Don’t be afraid to be you. Whoever you are won’t always be perfect but you’ll be worth it. Times will get tough and the world will seem like it’s crashing down around you. It’s okay to fall. It’s okay to cry and be sad because everything will always be okay as long as pick yourself up and keep moving. Try to always do the right thing. Share. Be different. Be beautiful. And remember that no matter what I’ll love you always and forever and unbiased.