On September 16, 1994 I experienced the most life changing event since Sherry and I were married. When the nurse in the delivery room placed Emily in my arms, I knew things would never be the same. When they handed her to me there were three things that struck me immediately.
First was how tiny she was. I hadn't had a lot of experience holding newborn babies. Come to think of it I probably didn't have any experience holding newborn babies, but even compared to most newborns Emily was small. Because she came into the world several weeks early she only weighed 3 lbs. 9 oz. I had never seen such a tiny face.
Second was the fact that she had blond hair. There wasn't much there, really it was just fuzz, but what was there was blond without a doubt. Not once when I would imagine what my first child would look like did I ever picture a blond haired blue eyed baby. I just assumed that any child that I was the father of would have dark hair and dark eyes like me.
The last thing that struck me so hard that it was almost too much to handle was how much love I felt, and how protective of her I became the moment I held her and looked into that miniature face. I didn't have to wait to get to know her or see how she would turn out. The sudden filling of my heart with all of that love was one of the most unexplainable things that I had ever experienced.
Today my first baby girl turns 14. She's a young lady now. There's not much little girl left in her anymore. Being her Dad each step along the way has been an honor, and I can't wait to walk through her teenage years with her as well.
Happy Birthday Em! You are wonderful!