Recently, I’ve been thinking about how next month my son, Henry, will turn 10-years-old. How is that possible?! I can recall how I was feeling 10 years ago in 2012.
We were living in an apartment on 7th Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois, and by all accounts, were ready to bring home our first child. Kasey and I had done all the things, from building a crib, assembling the high chair (which I absolutely struggled doing), organizing baby clothes (I’ll never get over how small newborn clothes are), and having baby showers and a diaper party. Pause for a second and hear me; if you are expecting your first child, have a diaper party! Thanks to our friends, in February of 2012, we netted, and I’m serious, over 1,500 diapers, baby wipes, and baby clothes. A diaper party will be the best decision you make besides naming your baby Tony (the best name ever, right?).
All that was left was for Henry to make his arrival. Here’s me being vulnerable with you; I wasn’t mentally prepared to be a dad. 10 years ago, Kasey was pregnant, my work on B100 was hectic, and while I may have thought I was ready to be a dad, I wasn’t. I fast-forward us to bringing Henry home; this would be at the end of March 2012. Upon entering our apartment, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I panicked! I think I have shared with you in previous columns how I ended up running to Walgreens in Rock Island and almost hyperventilating. I got myself together, went home, and stepped up into the role of dad.
I often think about what I would tell myself back then in that moment. I would first scold myself for leaving Kasey and brand-new baby Henry home alone! Then, I would say that things will be okay and to continue trusting my gut instinct (which would lead me to change careers, move to Muscatine, and wind up where I’m at). I have no regrets about 2012’s version of me, save for my choice in hairstyle and some clothing.
10 years later, in 2022, I’m still learning how to be a better parent. I would never claim to be the best, but I hope that all my children know how much they mean to me. Being called dad is both a trip and the best name I could ask for. It is weird when one of them calls me “Tony” or “Tony Tone” or “Anthony,” which is typically reserved for my wife after I did something wrong. See, I’m not perfect.
Anyways, these are the things I think about as we get closer to Henry turning 10. This means I’ll be 39 in September. Nope, this column is over; I’m not ready for that. “Enjoy every sandwich.”