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    Last week my life changed forever.

    I’ve been expecting to be a father since last December, but it didn’t truly hit me until I saw his head crowning. What should have been hours of grueling work for Celeste wound up being the smoothest five minutes imaginable for a delivery. With nothing more than a couple of focused sighs, she pushed until Luciano entered the world, and soon after into her arms. I was in awe, disbelief, excitement, tears, and pure happiness. As cliche as it is to say, my life really did change the moment I saw him in his entirety.

    For most of my life I’ve carried a colossal weight on my shoulders, measured by my shortcomings and mistakes made as a person. A son. A lover. A partner. A friend. A professional. A perfectionist. I had compounded years of guilt and resentment towards myself for not being who I was supposed to be, whatever that meant at the time. My depression consumed me and worsened every aspect of my life, until very recently when I started taking medication to help. And yet, this was even more life changing.

    Witnessing his birth was nothing short of a miracle. All those burdens I carried suddenly disappeared. My shortcomings were now inconsequential as nothing had stopped me from reaching this moment. My mistakes were now lessons to be taught, either on how to avoid entirely or accept and learn to adopt.

    The tender child in me that had to grew up quickly was free now. I fully forgave myself and was clear of my own emotional debts. For the gamers reading this, I can best describe this whole experience as playing a New Game Plus. And for the parents, you may understand best.

    As for Luciano himself, he’s truly wonderful. The softest, sweetest blob of rolls I’ve ever felt. He has my lips, fingers, and hopefully his mom’s indomitable spirit. I’ve never felt so blessed to wipe a rear full of poop in the middle of the night, and to have the most wonderful person as a spouse and mother of my child. There’s so much I want to do for him, for us, for others, and even for myself again.

    Since his birth my heart is overflowing with love and joy, which I hope continues to the day he hopefully reads this post about him.