The moment she spoke, I forgot all of my frustrations and annoyances. I forgot about the bitter fat woman who had ruined the most important moment of my life. I just got excited. And giddy. And I took a deep breath and slipped quietly inside to see what precious cargo lied within. I first caught Pamela’s victorious sneer as I entered. Then I forgot she existed at all.

My son was there, naked and wrinkly and pink, laying on a blanket inside a plastic bin. I’m sure there is another name for it that sounds more romantic, but that’s what it was. A plastic bin. And still, it was magical. I just stared at him forever, anxious to hold him for the first time.

When they finally laid his little swaddled body into my eager arms, an immediate bond formed with that boy. A mantle of responsibility and love blanketed me and I vowed in my head that I would be the best dad the world has ever seen. I vowed that this boy would never know a dad that didn’t love him. He would never not feel protected. He would always be mine. And I would always be his.

But that wasn’t the only poignant thing I felt and experienced in that moment.

Suddenly all the stupid stuff, the illegal stuff, the immature stuff, the immoral stuff, everything I had ever done up to that point in my life didn’t matter. It wasn’t me. None of it. Not anymore.

I innately knew that that moment was a true new beginning for this baby and for his dad. The past didn’t matter. It didn’t exist. Not as I looked at this tiny little “thing” in my hands. And I was changed in an instant.

I learned that while they are rare, there will be moments in life when I will experience something so powerful that I can literally become a new person. Instantly.

I call them my new life opportunities. I believe everyone experiences them.

These opportunities give us the chance to straightaway become better people. We can leave the tainted parts of our pasts behind us and move forward with one resolve and one purpose.

Whether we choose to take those new life opportunities or not is up to each of us. Whether we choose to see those opportunities at all depends on how in tune we are with the validity of our past and our present. Whether we choose to embrace those opportunities and believe in the wonders that they are, depends on our ability to leave behind our weird need to be victims as well as our capacity to walk away from our addiction to fears.

I can only suppose that new life opportunities such as the one I had that day come pounding on all sorts of people’s doors, and they tragically never even know they were there. It’s as if they are too busy watching their daily soaps to bother answering the door when the old dude with the giant check shows up on their porch. And they miss out on them altogether.

I am so thankful I was able to see my new life opportunity for what it was, and that I wasn’t so set in my ways, so eager to embrace my imperfections, and so attached to the old me that I couldn’t accept the gift I was being given.

I am so thankful that I got up from my stupid-life TV show and answered the door when the guy with the check came knocking.  What was delivered to me was both rare and incredible, and I will never lack appreciation for that single unrepeatable moment of my life.

Dan Pearce, from my book: The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man

Last Chapter: The Day the Scale Simply Said… “O.L.”

Next up: Another Pointless List of My Random Thoughts

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!