I vividly remember, one night when I was 14, I was so worried about my future that I couldn’t sleep. Would I ever be worthy enough for someone to marry me? Will I ever be lucky enough to be a father?
Eighteen years later, I can say from the bottom of my heart that all my dreams have come true. Today at 3:53 PM, my wife Ashley gave birth to a 7-pound, 4-ounce boy. His name is Ethan Wesley Oland.
We named him after Washington Capitals PA Announcer Wes Johnson.
Baby, mother, father, and the staff at FMH. Baby Ethan is 20 and 3/4th inches.
Back on February 24, Ashley and I told Wes about the baby’s name at Verizon Center.
It took Ashley and I five months to agree on Ethan’s first name. It took just a couple minutes for us to agree on his middle name.
I have met a lot of people in my life, but I can say without hesitation that Wes Johnson is the most selfless, talented, kind, creative, and giving friend I know. These are qualities I hope my son will grow to have as well.
I first met Wes was at the first RMNB Party, held at Front Page Arlington in 2010.
These days we get 25,000 unique visitors per day, but seven years ago we didn’t get that many in a whole month.Wes was supportive of us even then, during our humble beginnings. He treated us like VIPs anyway, because that’s just how he treats people.
Four years later, as an ordained Professor of Absolute Reality through the Universal Life Church, Wes officiated at my wedding to Ashley. A few months before the ceremony, Wes ate lunch with us and told us the secret to successful marriage: marry your best friend. This was good advice, and I think about it often.
Wes ran our rehearsal dinner. He officiated our ceremony. He announced our wedding party at the reception. He was indispensable.
The Wes you know from Verizon Center is boisterous and loud, but away from the arena he’s a kind, genuine man who just wants to make people happy. He is very, very good at it.
He’s given his time to raise money for Fort Dupont Ice Arena and ALS.
He’s shared with candor his journey to getting healthy.
He made time to meet and support Bensten Schone in his time of need.
— Wes Johnson (@WesJohnsonVoice) April 4, 2015
And he’s always been there for me to offer advice or support when I need it.
If my son has even a bit of Wes’s heart — his humility and charity — then I’ll have done my job right.
The Oland family, one larger now
So welcome to the world, Ethan Wesley! I love you with all of my heart. I don’t know how long we will have together, but every minute I get to spend with you I will cherish in ways you will never understand until you have a child of your own.
You don’t have to love hockey. You don’t have to play sports. I just want you to grow up and be the best iteration of yourself you can be. Until then, I’ll be holding you in my arms, trying not to ever let you go.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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