i’m not trying to say i love you, but i’d drive you fifty times around the circumference of the earth to prove you are beautiful under any light, anywhere in the world. you smile and the sun hides itself. you smile and suddenly the highway merges lanes between does he and love me. suddenly there is nothing in my body except the thoughts of your hands in my hands. suddenly my hands are not hands but the apex of thumb and knuckle meeting, interlocked like a seat belt for our heart lines in case the collision proves fatal. i’m not trying to say i love you. all i’m saying is, forget the stick shift. i don’t care about gravity. i don’t care if we head off the highest cliff on a moonlit valley. i will keep you safe with every part of me that exists, and when all else fails, i will keep your heart safe with nothing but my fingers around it.
A year ago the weight of this day felt so small, immeasurable even, neither of us knowing what it would feel like to be a parent despite words flooding our ears from our own parents, our friends, images on charts and photos and a small growing belly telling us that we were, our tiny indications that our lives would change forever in months to come. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with information running through own minds and past our lips, but it's in that moment where you're holding a person, a tiny being with a heart that pumps blood the same as yours and mine, fingers able to curl around, eyes so big and brown as they're looking back at you, it's in those moments where it all settles in like water rushing a dam during the most violent storm, except there's nothing violent about these feelings.

They're feelings I know we were never prepared for, and maybe in some ways we're still not, but we're here, we're trying and we're learning, together. Today is a day where you not only get to thank your own father for being a solid platform in your life, a guide and a friend, a parent who has shown you greath work ethic and laughter; it's a day where you get to reflect on your own past four months as a father, to look back on the growth and the changes made to your life, how you've adapted perfectly into this role that feels harder and more challenging than anything you've ever done.

I say perfectly not in the sense that you are a perfect parent or you're someone who always gets it right, because let's face it, no one is, our own parents aren't perfect, they struggled the same ways that we will, but perfect in the vein that you're willing and capable and able to do anything in your power that he needs, to love him unconditionally, and to me that is more important than being perfect in the traditional sense of the word, to me that is you being a perfectly imperfect parent, that is what counts and what matters and you display so many qualities that he will be lucky to possess. You're perfectly selfless with him and I can see it, I know I'm not the only one who can view your compassion and love pouring out from every pore when you hold him in your arms, your hand holding the back of his head, his lips against your shirt, the drool collecting in a round circle.

It's wild to see you in this role after hearing your thoughts on parenthood and how you weren't sure if or when it would happen for you, making jokes about your children and how you loathed holding a child, and now look at you, you can never put him down, you never allow him to get so far away from you and into harm's reach. I never understand what it was like to look at someone and love them with a fire that will never cease to exist, but when I see you looking at him, I know that fire is burning stronger than any fire inside of you and it's one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given in this world, to be able to see you with him, interacting and playing, smiling and laughing as you move your hands the same way he does, it's something truly remarkable that I have trouble putting into words.

Your creativity and passion for life, working hard to acheive your goals, your intelligence, your wit, they're all pieces of you that you will hand off to him, the very best traits of you, someone so special and wonderful in my eyes, and he's going to get them too. I know it. There's no way he won't be able to. When you're sitting at the piano with him in your lap, your fingers helping his find their way, his desire to just slam his hands down so that he can produce sound that his ears can pick up on and the joy that is expressed through his coos and smiles, it makes it all real, but most of all, it shows me how natural it is to see him sitting there with you. It's still so very early in his life, but watching him grow, seeing physicalities that match yours, his curiosity and thirst and wonder, they're all in part because of you. Can you believe that? Can you believe we were able to create this perfect human being? I hope you know that I couldn't have done any of this without you and I wouldn't want to do this with anyone else by my side.

As partners we haven't always done everything right in the past, in fact, we've done a lot that neither of us are proud of, none of which involve bringing this boy into the worth. I am grateful every single day to have you as Rocco's father. I don't have any worries in my head about you being an active staple in his life, I see it, I live and breathe in those moments with you, I know that's something that will never change. Our relationship will undergo so much growth, troublesome moments, construction and the like, but our relationship as parents will only be a work in progress that I wouldn't want to do with anyone else for the rest of my life. I know it's hard to feel like relationships are concrete, tangible things with the way they fluctuate and the way people fall in and out of love; I can promise you one thing with that being said, it's that I will never give up on you as my partner, as a parent, because I know that you wouldn't do that to Rocco. We're in this together, our own little Brooklyn family, a dream that maybe neither of us saw coming at such a rapid pace or in this light. It's here, it's happening, this is the life we're living and it's rich with love, a very fortunate life indeed I would say.

I want to extend a thank you to you for being the best father (is this where I make it weird and say in kinky ways too?), for being an amazingly tolerant partner for dealing with me, for helping me through motherhood and also through a very long and grueling, at times, pregnancy. Rocco is a lucky little man to have you and I never want you to forget that and I don't plan on letting you. You are the very best person to come into my life even if there are times where I know you question that, but know that it's true, please, you deserve that. Happy Father's Day, my darling, your very first of many. I love you and Rocco and Vincent do too. So, so very much.

morning: breakfast in bed bright and early courtesy of yours truly with help from a tiny sous chef who will be making more noise than he will be helping. banana and chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of hearts, homemade whipped cream, assorted fruit, bacon and toast with jam and butter (vegemite for the rest of us). afternoon: your parents are coming into the city to have an early lunch with us at The Loeb Boathouse near central park. i don't think we would be doing father's day right if we didn't spend it with your dad, as well. evening: your parents offered to take rocco off our hands and babysit for the evening, but i had to decline because i'm greedy and i wanted us to have the house to ourselves for a few hours. i'm going to cook for you. yes, me. lemon pepper baked chicken with asparagus and roasted potatoes and a dessert i think you'll enjoy in nothing but this. gifts: one. two. three. four. five.