“He came to us on Christmas Eve, the very definition of a gift from God.
“The only problem was that the gift came 10 weeks early.
“My wife Vanessa wasn’t allowed to even hold him yet, so there I sat in the NICU, holding his little 3 lb body close to mine … hoping that his daddy’s skin would provide some comfort to a little baby brought into the world just a bit too soon.
“I felt a vulnerability I had never known before and a fear I wasn’t familiar with.
“I can only imagine how many fathers out there felt the same way I did in that moment.”
Nick, who is married to wife Vanessa, 38, with whom he shares two other children, Camden, six and Brooklyn Elisabeth, four, continued on, describing the next six weeks as the “toughest and yet most wonderful” time.
“Now, 2 and a half years later, those weeks seem like an eternity ago as I watch my happy, healthy toddler run and climb and play.
“As Dads, I think we often feel a pressure to be this impenetrable pillar of strength. Phoenix reminded me that the ultimate show of strength is love.
“The world needs more of it and Dads … we can give it.”
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