You could fill the Library of Congress with adjectives describing fatherhood. You know: gut-wrenching, nap-deprived, diaper-riffic. It’s like trying on a whole wardrobe of emotions daily.

But tonight, on the precipice of becoming a father for the second time, what engulfs me is an overwhelming tide of gratitude and joy. I’m reflecting on the journey with Moses, the first little soul who taught me new depths of love and patience. It’s a brand of humility akin to watching the first sunrise, only to realize there are many more on the horizon.

Two years ago, little Moses entered our lives—and with his arrival, the familiar became extraordinary once more. Every day, with eyes wide as saucers, he rediscovers the world. It’s as if he’s continuously opening presents at Christmas. But instead of toys, it’s everyday mundane things. And the intensity of his joy doubles when we’re around as his audience.

Moses is an amateur plane-spotter, a budding soccer enthusiast, and an iPad ninja in the making. His favorite pastime? Throwing whatever he can find at the walls and waiting for our reaction. Sneak up on him, and you’d think you just performed the funniest stand-up routine. And nothing beats that hushed chuckle when you lean in and whisper a secret—or even the grocery list.

Every evening, my entry is met with this teeny tiny herald announcing, “Daaadddeeeeee” as if I’ve just come back from discovering a new planet.

I’m fully aware this might not last. These idyllic days might soon be overshadowed by public meltdowns or his passionate chant of “Mine, mine, mine…” And yes, the thought of him driving is already giving me premature gray hairs. But let’s cross one bridge at a time, preferably not the ones he might drive off of.

Tomorrow, Shelley and I will once again stand at the threshold of wonder as we welcome another life into our fold. My heart is a whirlwind of emotions: a profound joy intertwined with that fluttery uncertainty of embracing the unknown.

Just as Moses illuminated corners of my heart I never knew existed, this new addition promises to cast yet another beautiful light. With Moses, every challenge was offset by the magnitude of love and unexpected joys he brought. I now anticipate another chapter of delightful unpredictability.

Whenever friends seek my reflections on fatherhood, I usually say the same thing.  I knew I wanted to have kids, but I had no idea what it meant to be a dad.

It’s everything I never knew I always wanted.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.