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OPINION: All you need for Christmas is love - Brooklyn Paper

OPINION: All you need for Christmas is love

I could write another column on a political topic such as providing more evidence of the disastrous effects of the new bail reform law.

For example, just this past week, a suspect arrested for assaulting three Orthodox Jewish women in Crown Heights, who already had a long rap sheet, was released without bail in a matter of hours because of the law. Then, this same person was arrested again the very next day for assaulting another woman. Every New Yorker that is the victim of a crime by someone who was released because of this insane law can thank the Democrats that represent them in Albany.

However, since it is the holidays I wanted to write about something more uplifting. Last week, I celebrated my first Christmas with my son, as well as the 25th anniversary of my 21st birthday. This has caused me to think even more about family, life, and our purpose while we are on this earth. Obviously, these are issues that have long been pondered by many. 

This past summer my wife and I adopted a beautiful newborn baby boy, and last month it was legally finalized. Within moments of holding him and every day since, there is a new and real meaning to all of the cliché phrases I have heard from parents throughout my life about how a child changes everything.

Indeed, all other things are now less important. Your focus becomes on that child and how to give him the best life possible. Like all families, we have recently endured losing loved ones, and family members choosing paths in life that causes us to pray for their well being each day. Our new baby allows us to focus more on the positives and uplifts our spirits.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s words during Christmas mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral described my feelings since summer more succinctly. He said, “That’s the message of Christmas, that innocence, that vulnerability. There is nothing, nothing that changes or transforms the human heart more than a baby.” As a new parent, these were not just cliché words anymore because I am now experiencing this first-hand.

Cardinal Dolan also told the packed Mass about an event he attended where all the attention was on a new infant, “Not on Great-Grandma, not on the Christmas tree, not on the lavish buffet…but everybody’s attention was centered around the baby. When we see that baby, we know that it’s a good sign that life is going to continue” and “Jesus could have just shown up as an adult,” but “God wanted us to know that this baby…really is of human nature. He is one of us.”

Our first Christmas with baby Bobby was no different. All were fawning over him, although I sometimes wonder if he gets tired or angry with his role as the hot potato that gets passed around.

Here are some other thoughts that I have had since becoming a dad and growing another year older during this holiday season:

• I know now that the most important title and job I will ever have is “Dad.”

• I have gained an even greater appreciation and respect for my own parents.

• Since ultimately our children will make their own choices in life and take their own paths, we must enjoy every moment with them today.

• The joy that babies give us is the greatest gift. As adults, we are able to cherish and remember these times.

• There is no stronger evidence of God then watching a baby develop, grow, and bond with family.

I hope your holiday season was as magical as ours, and wish all of our readers a Happy New Year!

Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct Professor of Political Science for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano

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