On Tuesday my son, Corbett Payne Schmidt, was born at 13:20. He is 8 pounds, 12, ounces and is 22 inches long. He is a pretty big boy!
My wife picked out the name Corbett, and I picked out Payne as his middle name. I picked out the name Payne after my hero growing up, Payne Stewart, who unfortunately died in a plane crash in the fall of 1999. Payne Stewart was famous for winning 3 major championships including the 1989 PGA, 1991 US Open and most memorably, the 1999 US Open after drilling a 15 foot putt to beat Phil Mickelson by 1 stroke. To go to show what a class act Payne Stewart was, after making the putt which caused him to leap in the air and hug his caddy, he immediately went over to Phil and grabbed his face and said, "You're going to be a father! There is no better feeling than that!" Phil's child was due the following day. Payne did this because he knew Phil was trying to win his first major and he surely had to be incredibly disappointed. But after Payne did that for him, he felt a lot better immediately.
Phil later said Payne was right, there was no better feeling than becoming a father. While I certainly can't claim to know what it would be like to win the US Open, I can say that after twice knowing the feeling of what it is like to become a father, I can't imagine Payne Stewart being wrong about that one. It would be hard to feel better than the feeling of seeing your child's face for the first time and holding him in your arms.
Everything has gone perfectly. My wife is doing great and most memorably, my almost 2 year old daughter has been on cloud 9 since having a brother. We were worried about how she might react since like any 2 year old, she loves all the attention. We weren't sure how she would feel about having to share, but it is almost like she grew up overnight. She seems to sense that she is part of a unit that is greater than just herself, and has been as loving towards her brother as a human being could possibly be. She makes her excited face every time she walks in the room to see him and has probably leaned in to kiss him at least 500 times. Of all the great things I can take away from this experience, that is possibly the best part. I definitely now have a feeling like my family is complete, and now it is just all about enjoying the ride.
The most thought provoking thing about my life so far is that I feel that ever since I was a just 6 or 7 years old, I have always been very forward looking. I didn't much enjoy the concept of being a kid because I was always working towards accomplishing something that I could only achieve as an adult. For example, as a kid, I simply hated the fact that I wasn't strong enough to play the PGA Tour regardless of whether I attained the skills necessary to do so. I just wanted to grow up so badly and not have any obstacles to success. Don't ask me why I was thinking about these things when most kids were probably not even giving that type of thing much, if any thought at all. But that is just the way I have always thought, for better or worse. But now that I have two kids of my own and have accomplished a few things as an adult along the way, one of the most difficult things for me has simply been enjoying the present time. For some reason I do feel like that is something I might be able to do at this point, at least decently anyway, since the birth of Corbett. I feel like I have a better sense that NOW is the time I have been waiting for. Our family is complete, and thanks to a lot of my hard work along with a few good breaks, I am in a pretty good position to really enjoy it.
We should be able to go home from the hospital in a couple of days. We definitely have our work cut out for us right now. Having two kids won't be easy, especially when one is a newborn. But I think it is going to be memorable and that is really what it is all about for me. I LOATHE doing things that aren't memorable. I like to do things that are hard to forget, as often as possible. For example, if I were to play poker day after day for a month, I could never tell you 5 years later how any one of those particular days went at the tables. But if I were to travel somewhere and see new places, or play a golf tournament somewhere, I might just remember every place I saw or every shot I hit 5 years later. So I love doing memorable things for those reasons. So no matter how hard it might be the next few weeks, or probably months, I definitely look forward to an experience I will never forget. And the feeling of watching my daughter play with Corbett and the time I will spend holding him in my arms as he is struggling to go to sleep or eat, is sure to be unforgettable.