Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams is Eighteen today

As I reviewed the photos and wrote the words for this post, I could not help myself. I cried like a heartbroken teenager. So many memories of so many moments, but they all seem like they just happened yesterday.

Eighteen years ago a nurse handed us a 7 pound 6 oz. sack of flesh and wished us luck. Seriously! The only instruction received was some short advice to my wife on how to express organic baby formula from her breasts. Oh, I got some help with the baby seat.

  CYBERSHOT  @ 21mm  , ISO 100  , 1/470s  , ƒ/4  on 2 October, 2001  Copyright Khürt Williams 

So we looked at each other with a look that expressed complete and utter dread. We knew we were supposed to feed, cloth and love this thing with every fiber of our being. Any regret we had was dashed away with every breath he — oh yeah the thing was a small male person — took. Nature had filled our brains with s rush of hormones that made it nigh impossible to dislike the thing.

  CYBERSHOT  @ 8.1mm  , ISO 141  , 1/90s  , ƒ/2  on 8 December, 2000  Copyright Khürt Williams  Flash yes 

It was a cruel joke. The thing — we decided at the hospital to name it Shaan — refused to eat and a few weeks later we took it — I mean Shaan — back to the hospital. He had developed a skin colour more akin to a Star Trek alien than a human youngling. We spent 48 hours in the ICU while the doctors tuned his system.

I knew then that that would be the worst moments of my life and that if Bhavna and I could weather that, then the rest would be a piece of cake. After all, we were never really doing this alone.

  CYBERSHOT  @ 9.3mm  , ISO 141  , 1/90s  , ƒ/2  on 23 November, 2001  Copyright Khürt Williams  Flash yes 

He was surrounded by knights ready to provide protection from the dangers of life, wizards, and witches who could heal any injury with a kiss, seers who would teach you about the wonders of the universe, and jesters ready to entertain at a moment’s notice.

Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams is Eighteen today NIKON D5100 20170423 0658 Edit 1200x800
The Raval, Patel, Williams Family
Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams is Eighteen today Shaan and the Ravals NIKON D5100 20150419 5696 Edit 1200x872  NIKON D5100  @ 85mm  , ISO 100  , 1/500s  , ƒ/5.6  on 19 April, 2015  Copyright © 2015 Khürt Williams 

We were given eighteen years. Eighteen years to take a lump of human flesh and turn it into a human being. We didn’t always do our best. We made mistakes.

In our trying to make him perfect, sometimes our words and action left scratches and we hope the dents can be smoothed out over time.

  NIKON D40  @ 50mm  , ISO 200  , 1/50s  , ƒ/2.8  on 23 February, 2013  Copyright © 2013 Khürt Williams 

Fortunately, he had an in-house advocate who was always by his side. She kept us honest. She jokes that she’s his twin.

  NIKON D40  @ 35mm  , ISO 200  , 1/200s  , ƒ/8  on 6 April, 2012  Copyright © Khürt L. Williams 

But the mistake was in the trying. You see, our son was born perfect. He was given to us fully formed. Complete. His care was given over to us for those eighteen years so we could share him with you.

Thank you all.

And so to you, my baby boy — you’ll forever be our baby — I want to thank you. Thank you for challenging me in ways more rewarding than any career; for reminding me daily about the wonders of the world; for allowing us to be vulnerable enough to put our love out into the world.

  NIKON D5100  @ 35mm  , ISO 100  , 1/25s  , ƒ/2.8  on 28 March, 2016  Copyright © 2016 Khürt Williams  Exposure bias +2EV 

I know that you will do great things with your life.

 Copyright © 2013 Christopher Pedrick 

If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he’s not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open

Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams is Eighteen today Shaan NIKON D40 20130223 DSC 3734 1200x798  NIKON D40  @ 50mm  , ISO 200  , 1/50s  , ƒ/2.8  on 23 February, 2013  Copyright © 2013 Khürt Williams 

Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams is Eighteen today NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.

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