Two years ago I woke up all alone in my Big Comfy Bed. I went downstairs and turned on the TV. Typhoon warning. Smiling, I called my boss. "I just saw there is a typhoon warning. Are classes cancelled today? They are? Okay, then I would like to take the day off. Yes. My wife should be going into labor today."
Underneath a gray sky, I drove my little white car the twenty five minutes or so to the clinic that my wife had stayed at the night before. When I found my wife, she was walking down the hall cradling her stomach and looking the most exhausted I had ever seen her. I walked with her back to her room and.
A few hours later Ryunosuke was born.
Fifteen minutes after his birth, I held my cellphone in front of the nurse who was holding my son. My cellphone was transmitting the video all the way from the middle-of-nowhere Japan to the middle-of-nowhere USA. All the way across the world and yet my parents were able to see their grandson moments after being born. My father commented how Ryunosuke was holding "daddy's finger". I was confused for about ten seconds. Then I realized that I was "daddy".
These two years have passed and it has become clearer every single day that I am "daddy". It is the one word that out of his mix of Japanese and English and His Own Little Language that is reserved entirely for me. Every day I joke that he is "becoming a little bit more human". It is true, though. We were so busy that first year that it was not really until the past few months that he himself began to shine through. It amazes me every single day.
I love you, Ryunosuke. Happy birthday.