December 23rd, 2014
My heart is beating out of my chest. My eyes still sting. It’s nearly impossible for me to take a full breath. This isn’t panic, Lewis. This is Love. Pure Love. Overwhelming Love. It’s Love like I’ve never known. Lewis, I’m going to be a daddy again!
Today was stressful. A hundred things slowed us from getting on the road to Kansas City to spend Christmas with the family. Your mom knew I was feeling stressed so she did most of the packing and loading while I finished working. Finally, we got into the car to head out of town.
Before I put the car in drive your mom said she wanted to give me my Christmas present. She handed me an envelope. Inside was a card, which held my true present – a positive pregnancy test. Instantly, I was a sobbing mess. I kissed your mother and told her a dozen times I was so unbelievably happy. A few minutes later, composure regained, we set off on our three-and-a-half hour drive to Kansas City.
I didn’t even make it to the highway before I started crying again. I cried, off and on, all the way to Columbia, which is about half way.
Lewis, my tears were more than just the overflow of joy that comes from incredible news. They were tears of love and relief. It might sound strange to say “relief.” In fact, that may not be the best word. But it’s the most honest word.
Lewis, you have to understand that when I found out mommy was pregnant with you I nearly exploded with love. It was the most out-of-control, pure, unconditional, selfless love I’d ever known. To experience a love like that, to find out there’s a deeper love than any I thought possible, that I am capable of such endless love, is crippling. It was as if I were mainlining joy, unable to come down for weeks.
I felt like the Grinch at the end of the story where his heart grows three sizes in one day where he realized he was capable of truly loving another. That’s a huge change for a Grinch and a daddy to go through.
But anxiety slowly set in, taunting me from that moment over two years ago until 5pm today.
Because of the intensity and unreal heights, widths and depths of my love for you I didn’t know if I wanted to have another child. I wasn’t worried about the cost or lack of sleep or frustrations that come from newborns. I was terrified that I would never be able to love another child the way I love you. I worried that I would secretly treasure you as my prize and struggle to see another child as more that just an added bonus.
I didn’t think my heart had room for more love. I didn’t think it possible for my heart and love to grow anymore than it did for you.
Lewis, my heart grew again today. It didn’t just grow. It exploded to the edges of the ever-expanding universe, giving light itself a run for its money.
This love, somehow greater than any before it, didn’t share itself with you, or take from your share. This love didn’t even bring you into itself. No, this love caused every other love – my love for you, for mommy, for God himself – to grow in the same expansive manner.
That’s why I say I feel relief.
I’m sure this doesn’t make sense, Lewis. How can loving one person make me love another person more? How can loving someone new add to my wealth of love instead of take away from it? How can love be the source of my anxiety one minute, and then the cure for it the next? Love is an unexplainable, unrealistic, other-worldly miracle, if for no other reason than it defies logic, yet it’s the one thing that makes sense of life and makes life worth living.
Today helped make sense of something else: the limitless, pure, life-changing love of God. I’m a flawed man, failing to live up to my own standards of love most of the time. If I am capable of feeling and experiencing what I did tonight, how much more must a perfect God’s love be. If God loves every person who has ever lived, and if that love compounds and expands with every new person brought into the world…how vast, how wide, how deep, how perfect, how pure, how empowering, how limitless, how infinite God’s love must be.
Lewis, I love you. I love you now more than ever before. As this baby grows in your mom’s belly my love for it will grow. And along with it, my love for you will grow. Somehow, that’s how love works.
Things are going to start changing around here, Lewis. Including how much I love you. Still, no matter what, God loves you more.
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