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Some parenting moments are so bittersweet, it’s amazing anybody could get through them without shedding a few tears.
Shauna Mitchell, of Lumberton, North Carolina captured that tender moment as it transpired between her boyfriend, Zach Oxendine, and his baby boy, Judah. Now, the video is going viral because it displays the perfect love between a father and his special needs son, and it’s simply too beautiful not to share.
Judah was born prematurely at just twenty-three weeks old. He weighed less than two pounds at birth, and suffered from bleeding in his brain that necessitated several surgeries to repair. Through it all, Judah’s family claims that the infant smiled through the pain.
“I can remember even when Judah was in the NICU, he was smiling,” Zach said. “Since he was born and aware he was in the world, he’s never stopped smiling.”
Now two years-old, Judah still has a host of medical problems, including cerebral palsy and deafness — but that doesn’t stop Zach from singing to his son.
One evening, a cozy-looking Judah was snuggled in his daddy’s arms, clad in his cute little pajamas, when Zach started to sing to him. Sensing this was a moment that should be remembered, Shauna grabbed her phone and started recording video.
You can see little Judah resting his head on Zach’s chest, most likely soothed by the vibrations and warmth of his father’s voice. Zach sings along to the country song “Boy,” by Lee Brice, which is an emotional song about watching a son grow up.
You’re gonna drive and kiss
And throw a punch
And grow up way too fast
You’re gonna drop the ball
Hit the wall
And break some hearts like glass
I know you will, ’cause you’re a part of me
And a part of you will always be a boy.
Moved by the lyrics and overcome by love for his son, Zach protests Shauna’s video and says repeatedly, “I can’t. I can’t. I’m gonna cry.”
He manages to hold it all together… until Judah looks up at his dad and gives him the most angelic smile we’ve ever seen. That’s when dad loses it and starts to weep.
While Zach may have been embarrassed to show this sensitive side of himself to the world, he definitely needn’t be ashamed. This video is a wonderful reminder that love transcends all disabilities, a father’s devotion is everlasting and permanent, and sometimes a smile can mean the world to someone.
Watch the emotional video below, and be sure to share to make someone smile today.