Have I mentioned yet how much I love my son?
Judah turns four in two days! It was exactly four years ago tonight that he began his journey beyond the womb in one of the most memorable and exhilarating two days of my life. Diana's due date was January 8 (or 10? I don't remember exactly), but I wanted a New Year's Baby. Not because of any sentimental fondness for January 1, but because I thought a birthdate of 01/01/01 would be very cool. Call me a cornball, but the symmetry and rarity -- happens just once in a century -- made that date appealing. I figured that if I teased Diana often enough about going into labor at our church's annual New Year's Eve Party, it just might happen. Sure enough, at around 2 or 3 am, Diana told a friend she was cramping. She refused to call it labor or contractions -- to do so would have given me too much delight -- but they were noticeable enough that she asked to go home to bed. Then around 7 am, she woke me to say her water broke! We called the doctor, and went to the hospital that afternoon. Daddy's impassioned pleas notwithstanding, Judah waited until just the right time for him to make his grand appearance. His terms were fully satisfied approximately 32 hours after those first cramps on New Year's Eve, and Judah Jeremy Del Rio left the shelter of Mommy's belly at 10:19 am, 01/02/01 -- symmetry of his own choosing. Judah's addition to our lives has been a far greater joy, more rewarding privilege, and humbling honor that Diana and I ever imagined. He's hysterically funny, musical (composing songs nearly every day), enormous (weighing the same as our eight year old nephew and taller than our nearly seven year old niece), athletic (with a cannon arm and tackling form that would make any linebacker proud!), wise beyond his years (how many 3 1/2 year olds ask how Jesus could be God and God's son?), with a passion for God and compassion for people. And he knows how to work a room! The total package. My buddy. My son. Happy birthday, Judah! I love you forever. (Read A Letter to my Son on Father's Day here and view Christmas 2004 pictures of Judah here.)