My Proud Daddy Moment

Since becoming a dad, I have not had a single instance where I wasn’t proud of Sloan. However, this past weekend I had a defining “Proud Father” moment.

Before I became a dad, I would probably respond to that opening paragraph with something along the lines of “How can you be genuinely proud of a 9-week-old?” I mean it is not like Sloan’s brain is developed enough to ace a test. She can’t even crawl at this point so she can’t accomplish an athletic feat. She isn’t talking yet so she surely can’t blow us away with her singing voice.

But when you become a parent of a newborn, you immediately realize what being proud means. It isn’t about achieving something that society deems as an accomplishment. Just the fact that your baby happened to start as a speck in the womb, grow into an actual infant, and then enter the world is reason enough to be full of pride. However, like I said, Sloan recently provided me with a specific prideful moment that I will always remember.

On Sunday, I took Sloan to church by myself. It was my first real time taking Sloan somewhere without anyone else. I walked into St. Andrew carrying a car seat with a big diaper bag draped over my shoulder. I navigated the crowds and found a seat at the end of a pew. I then crossed my fingers that my daughter would make it through the mass.

This was Sloan and I after mass this past Sunday.

I kept Sloan in her car seat for most of the service. Because she was semi-covered and because she was a perfect angel, fellow parishioners who were fixated in prayer didn’t really notice the baby at the end of the row.

After we recited the Lord’s Prayer and offered the sign of peace, I knew it would be just a couple minutes until I would remove Sloan from her car seat and take her up to the altar with me for Holy Eucharist. I knelt down with the congregation as we recited the important words of Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. At that moment, as the eucharistic ministers approached the altar, I sat back up in my pew. I then slowly and gently took Sloan out of her seat and cradled her in my arms.

The couple behind me immediately cooed and asked her name and age. I answered their questions and they remarked on what a beautiful baby she was. Little did I know that this would be just the tip of the iceberg.

By that time, the communion line had started. Sloan and I were seated in the front half of the church but we were in one of the back rows of the particular section. Not only that, but because of our location, we (well, I) would be receiving the holy sacrament from the priest himself right at the front of the church. Thus, we would be walking past a lot of rows and a bunch of people to get to Father Jose.

I had the pleasure of taking Sloan right down the aisle of St. Andrew Catholic Church and straight up to the front of the altar.

The usher gave our row the signal to ease into line. Sloan and I moved from one end of the row to the other and then took a right to head toward the altar.

At that moment, I swear I knew what Sidney felt like the day she walked down the aisle at our wedding. I kept my eyes either directly on Sloan or straight ahead but I could feel eyeballs looking right at me. Well, let’s be honest, I could feel the eyeballs looking at Sloan. It was such a beautiful feeling, one I couldn’t really even find the words to describe to Sidney when we got home. The whole way down I could sense the gazes and hear the ever so light gasps of the people celebrating mass that day. When I finally reached Father Jose he had his wide grin once again. He gave me my host and then gave Sloan her blessing.

On the way back to our seats I could again feel everyone looking at Sloan. Although I still looked mostly straight ahead, I did shift my eyes back and forth as we walked back. I could see smiles.

Upon returning to my pew I was hit with emotion from not just receiving Jesus’ body but also from the reception that Sloan got. Even though I had absolutely no scientific evidence that people actually were indeed touched by Sloan, the feeling I had in my heart was proof enough. I was one proud daddy.

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With Sloan’s presence now out of the bag (ummm…I mean out of the car seat), parishioner after parishioner came up to me at the end of the mass to say what a precious little girl I had. Although the compliments were so sweet and nice, it still didn’t beat the feeling I had walking down the aisle with her.

When Sidney and I talked when I arrived home, she told me that there is just a sweet spot that people have for a daddy by himself with a little baby. I would say her assessment is right. I know I spent most of this post bragging but it was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you God for blessing Sloan with her mama’s looks. Don’t Blink.

A Thursday Rundown of Joy, Pride, and Embarrassment

It almost feels like cheating. Between last week’s Thursday Rundown and this week’s Thursday Rundown, only two regular blog posts have been published. Furthermore, I have only written one of those (Sidney took over my blog last night). But that is what happens when you celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. Cheap or not, here we go with this week’s rundown…

Wedding Pictures Back – Yesterday we received our wedding photos back after more than three weeks and we can both admit that it was worth the wait. We love the work that our photographer did. He mixed it up in a way in which about 80% of his shots were candid, exactly what we wanted. However, the posed shots of our wedding party were terrific as well. Over time I will share some of the images here on this blog. If you are in Myrtle Beach or Charleston, I would recommend Nicholas Gore Weddings.

I loved the photos that Nicholas Gore Weddings took. Most of the selection are candid shots.

I loved the photos that Nicholas Gore Weddings took. Most of the selection are candid shots.

Point of Pride – Sidney was quick to change her last name. Facebook came first. Immediately after we returned from our honeymoon she went to all the official places (social security card office, driver’s license office, etc.) to make it legal. Although she didn’t waste time making the change, I bet it was a little hard to part with the name she had used her whole life. From my perspective, it just makes me so proud. To know that someone loves me enough to change their last name is hard to describe. The fact that the newest person carrying the “Reser” last name is an amazing and kind person brings prestige to my family. We are all just so honored that Sidney is now a Reser (although she will always be a Mathis at heart).

This "R" that Sidney made decorates our front door.

This “R” that Sidney made decorates our front door.

Celebrating A Man Who Means A Lot – Last night, Sidney and I had the chance to help mark a milestone of the man who married us. Almost four weeks ago, Father James LeBlanc officiated our wedding. On Wednesday evening he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It was our distinct pleasure to attend his commemorative mass and then enjoy the reception afterwards. After he gave a short speech, Fr. LeBlanc made the rounds to each table. When he stopped by ours, we were able to thank him for doing such a great job for us at our wedding. In a card that we gave to him we placed some photos that included the three of us on our wedding day. St. Andrew Parish is in great hands with Fr. LeBlanc as pastor.

The photo in the upper left hand corner is of Fr. LeBlanc giving his speech at his 20th anniversary of ordination reception that was held last night. The other photos are from our wedding on June 11, 2016.

The photo in the upper left hand corner is of Fr. LeBlanc giving his speech at his 20th anniversary of ordination reception that was held last night. The other photos are from our wedding on June 11, 2016.

Bad Thing to Forget – Because I work out every morning before heading to the office, I haul all my work clothes to campus with me in a duffel bag. Each night I pack my bag with what I will wear that next day. I thought I had it down to a science when it came to packing my necessary wardrobe but this morning I realized otherwise. When I got to my locker I realized I had left my dress shoes at home. Not willing to make the hour round trip to go back and pick them up, I came to terms with the fact that I would look a bit funny today. Tending to my feet last, I finished my outfit by slipping back on my work out shoes…the ones I had just sweated in for 80 minutes. If it was just the unpleasant feeling of wearing them it would be one thing but do you know how ridiculous worn out sneakers look with a collared shirt and dress pants? Luckily my awesome wife brought me my professional shoes at noon, meaning I only had to shake off the embarrassment during the morning.

It was miserable wearing my tennis shoes at work this morning.

It was miserable wearing my tennis shoes at work this morning.

Who is That Actor? – In another case of embarrassment for me, I failed to recognize a very famous actor. Last Friday, Sidney and I sat down to watch “Meet Joe Black.” I missed the opening credits of the film. As one of the main characters took on a prominent role in the plot, I asked Sidney who he was. She looked at me dumbfounded and finally got the words out to tell me it was Brad Pitt. Of course she tweeted about it. I don’t know, I guess I just think of Brad Pitt’s appearance in more of a “Fight Club” sense. As for the movie, I thought it was pretty good.

Sidney tweeted this out when I asked her who this actor was.

Sidney tweeted this out when I asked her who this actor was.

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Thanks to all for giving Sidney such great support with the blog post she wrote last night. It seemed to speak to a lot of people. Have a great weekend everyone and we will catch up on Sunday. Don’t Blink.