Tomorrow is my birthday and as I do with every birthday, I take a look around my world and think about what makes my life amazing, what inspires me and what a blessing it is to be another year older.
This year I’m thinking about the greatest gift I have ever received. The first birthday I can remember was my fourth birthday when I received a rake, hoe and shovel set from my paternal grandmother. I spent hours digging up our yard – which I’m sure my parents loved. On my twelfth birthday I got a Trek mountain bike which I used for my newspaper route and did several TOSRV bike tours with my father.
My two greatest gifts however weren’t really birthday gifts, though one was around my birthday. The first I received almost eleven years ago and the second I received almost two years later; my two boys.
I had no experience with children at all before I had them, but always knew I wanted kids. I had never so much as changed a diaper prior to my first son. By the time my second son rolled in the door, I asked myself what I was so stressed about with the first. Then came the amazing little moments, such as the one below where my youngest son made “alphabet soup” for the family.
I can’t remember how many times I went into my children’s room to hear them having “little conversations” about stuffed animals, dinosaurs and Legos. Conversations so innocent they are the purest form of communication. Love so unfiltered and honest that it is touched directly from Heaven. There is a purity in their statements “I love you daddy.”, even now, that drives deeper into me than anyone else has ever done.
There may be an unspoken “civic responsibility” about having children, the idea that you are replacing your generation with a new one, but being a parent is so much more than that. Seeing their minds grow from only recognizing a human face, to playing with danging toys, to splashing in the tub, to drawing, to telling stories and now my children are creating their worlds with their writings and their stories. They are slowly becoming self functioning members of society.
They are the greatest, most amazing gifts I have ever received and the most breathtaking experience I have ever had. I may be an writer, an IT professional, a voiceover artist and an artist, but the one thing I am the most proud of – is being a father.