Monday, September 20, 2010

Enter Stage Right

Nine days and a few hours separate us from a stage of life that we have never approached. Sure, we have a cat and a dog, but something tells me they are somewhat different and a little bit easier than children. I say "nine days" like they will somehow be different than all of the other nine days that we have experienced. I guess in a way they will be. I have nine days to walk up the stairs and see an empty room. I have nine days to sleep late on a Saturday. I have nine days before my parents are replaced with exact replicas, except they have added features, like "ATM" and "Candy Dispenser" modes. I have nine days before the stage of life is completely altered.

When one goes to see a play, one is given a pamphlet of some kind which explains, in varying degrees of detail, the characters found in said play. Sometimes it gives a background of the play or even the actors themselves. So I thought I would take this time to write my unborn son, Brody, and give him an introduction to some of the characters he will likely meet... in nine days.

This is your cousin, Haley. She is young enough (7) to play with you and understand "Brody-ese," yet old enough (17) to take care of you and change a few diapers when needed. If you need someone to play with, eat ice cream with, watch a movie with, go to the zoo with, play games with, or get in trouble with, she is your answer. She is sweet, helpful, and knows exactly how to work Grandma and Pap Pap. Consider her your human Cliff Notes for grandparents. Be careful with playing games with her, though. You have to let her win before you can move on to the next game. 

This is your Uncle David and Aunt Kim. They are Haley's parents. To say that two people are perfect for each other might sound cliche, but in this case it actually fits. They work well together as a team and enjoy their family, immediate and otherwise. Your Uncle David will be one of the many to take you hunting. He and your Pap Pap will take you to the land to ride the 4-wheeler and shoot a gun... ok that won't be for a while, but it's still something to look forward to in the future. They are big sports fan, so get ready to go to and watch lots of games with them. He might even play a round of golf with you when you get a little older. Your Aunt Kim is fun to be around and always tells things the way that they are. The only problem you will have with her is when it comes to cooking. Boiling water might be difficult, but don't worry, we will never go hungry around them. It seems like the grill is always hot at their house. 

This is your Uncle Kirk. He is my brother. He might be on the quiet side when you first meet him, but he is probably one of the coolest guys you are going to see. When you are around him, you have fun and you laugh. You will have your own inside jokes with him and then it really gets fun. You will go to several Alabama games with him, both home games and away. He makes the road trips really fun, even if you leave at four in the morning to get there. He is ferociously loyal and one of my best friends, so I know you will like him. He is really smart and usually thinks things through before making a decision. I want you around him as well as others like him so that you will understand how a mature Christian should act. 

This is your Aunt Kacy. She technically isn't your aunt, yet, but it's close enough. She is going to marry your Uncle Kirk. When you can talk, you might want to mention wanting to be in the wedding. She is fun and creative, and fits into this family very well. Get ready to see her on several family vacations. 

This is your Grandma and Pap Pap. They are your mother's parents. They live in Alabama. These are the ones Haley can help you with, although I don't think you will need much help getting what you want out of them. Haley is their granddaughter, but you are their first grandson. Your Pap Pap may seem a little gruff at first, but he really loves his family (which includes you) and will do anything for them. He will drive you around on his tractor, his four-wheeler, and his motorcycle. Your Grandma is kind, and loves to have a good time. She will play games with you and let you help cook dinner. There are a lot of people who work with her who are really excited to meet you, so let her show you off to all of her friends and coworkers. She always seems to be busy, but will always take a break to spend time with her family (especially her only grandson!).

This is your Jema and Pop. They are my parents. Remember when I said they would be replaced by different people? Well, when you meet them, that will have already happened. At the moment, you don't share them with a cousin, so that means you are going to have to do the "hard work" of softening them up. They live in Virginia and, like everyone else, can't wait to meet you. We get to visit them sometimes when it snows. Sledding at Jema and Pop's is always fun. Your Pop showed me how to be a dad. I can only hope that I do as good of a job as he did. You get to go hunting with him, also. You can help him use the snow blower, run the lawn mower, and grilling a mean steak. Jema is no different. There is always plenty to eat and to do at her house. She is another one who will show you off to all of those that she knows. 

This is your mother. When I tell you that you are the luckiest boy in the world, she is one of the bigger reasons why. She is fun, kind, fair, very beautiful, and can really cook. And we get to spend all of our time with her! I can't tell you how long she has wanted to meet you. Every time we went to the doctor's office, she always hoped we would get to see you on an ultrasound. She will always be sweet to us, so we get to be sweet to her. You and I get to make her breakfast and take it to her before she gets up. We get to make her cards and take her flowers. It won't be hard, but love her with everything you have, because she will love us both as only she can!

Well, there is your introduction to some of the important characters in your life. I don't have enough time to tell you about all of the people you will meet in the first few weeks. You still have to meet your great-aunts (like Aunt Kathy) and your great-uncles (like Uncle Richie), your great-grandparents, and all your new friends in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, etc., but I will let you get a look at them when you do. 

All of the people pictured here love you more than you can imagine. They are so excited to meet you and have been that way for nine months. The stage is set and they are waiting on you. Just know that when you are ready, they will be ready, too. Enter stage right, and be introduced to the world, and enjoy your time here. 

Maybe there is one other person to whom I should introduce you.   

This is me. I am your dad. I will introduce myself to you soon, but you can hear about me from other people. Except, I need to approve of those who tell you about me. 

I will add my name to the list of those who are ready to meet you. My name is already on the list of those who love you. And because of you I can absolutely say that I am