You are the only biological child I will ever have. With you, I feel like I made all of the mistakes a parent can make while trying to feel may way through being your dad. You weren’t blessed with an older sibling that got to experience those and save you from the lessons learned. I wouldn’t trade being your dad for anything in the world, but know that being a parent is the most important job in the world. It is also the most difficult. There are a million books that tells people how to raise a child, but since no two children ever born are alike, those don’t help much. And those books can’t possibly address every single situation a parent will encounter trying to raise a child. I remember leaving the hospital a few days after you were born. Honestly, I was thinking “Is he ready to take home? Shouldn’t he be a little more done or something? HE WAS JUST BORN”. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t some kind of operational manual people took home with a new baby, but NOPE, there isn’t one. However, it didn’t take long to figure out when you were hungry, since you turned beet read and let out blood curdling screams at the first hunger pain, which seemed like every hour. And heaven knows it didn’t take long to figure out when your diaper was dirty either. I learned to change diapers at the same time you were learning how to dirty them up. Little did I know that your entire life would be like that – me learning on the fly as events happened in your life. It was all new to me – every. single. day. I guess you could say, as you were growing up, I was too. I didn’t have all the answers I needed in raising you. Heck, I didn’t even have half of them.
Today you’ll be getting married, and I’ll be wondering what to say to you. I knew this day would come, and I honestly thought my biggest question to you would be “Are you sure you’re ready?” I’m a little shocked that I’m not asking you that question, but rather asking myself “Am I sure I’m ready?” I’m not. But that has nothing to do with you… or Casey… or the wedding. It has to do with “time” and how much has passed by so quickly. I realize you are your own man now, but you’re still my son too. I will always have more years to make more mistakes than you will. I will also have more wisdom in life because of them. But I’ve learned from them and I will always try to spare you from making the same mistakes. I will always do and support what I believe is best for you. So know that I am so very proud of you and so happy that you’ve found “the one”. I’ve always been closely involved in your life and know you better than anyone on this planet. I’ve never seen you so smitten with anyone, so I know Casey is the one you’ve been looking for. And I’m so happy to embrace Casey as a new daughter on this day. We love her like our own and will always treat her as one too! And I know what it is like to be married to your soul-mate and what a wonderful, happy, life that follows. I know you and Casey will have that type life and it fills my heart knowing I’ll get to watch it unfold.
I love you Dane!