For whatever reason, my little three year old loves the Incredible Hulk. He had a birthday party with friends today and got big fists as a gift. He’s been wearing them all afternoon with his green shirt and purple shorts. Such a funny kid.
So the sun rises on a new decade for me today. The kids said I have 10 more years until I am “officially” old, but that doesn’t bother me. I think birthdays are a good time for reflection. It’s easy to get caught up in the inertia of life without slowing down to think about direction.
Over the past year I have grown increasingly grateful for the blessings of each day. I have been trying to make an effort to live more in the moment. I still have a long way to go, but it has influenced my life in many ways.
Focusing on moments with my wife and children, finding simple, special times with each of them regularly, has been a joy and a blessing. Again, there’s a lot more I can do, but I will definitely continue and try even harder to live more daily moments with them.
As my older kids age I am having fun exploring and participating in their interests and talents. I am trying to be a part of those talents and make it possible for them to share with others. I desperately wanted to do many things as a child but anxieties and fears held me back. I lived with constant doubts, negative voices in my head, and a fear of rejection that often paralyzed me. Many of the dreams I had became unreachable and unrealized because of those hurdles. Even worse I kept it all inside and tried to be a shadow.
Thankfully, because of time, age and maturity, I am in a different place. Those anxieties are still with me, but I have found ways to push them aside. It has driven me to be an active part of my children’s lives, to encourage them, support them, and push them, sometimes too much, because I want them to live differently.
So as I look ahead at the next decade I am excited. My oldest children will be well within their twenties before I am “old”. They plan to serve missions and have big dreams, and I am eager to help them along those paths. I have been married nearly 16 years and I cherish that relationship with my wife. We still have a lot of growing to do and I am excited about forging and even stronger bond as we navigate the road ahead.
Most importantly, I am grateful to have lived 40 years and pray that I will have many more. I am thankful for each day and hope to continue to make the most of moments while letting time, patience, and faith take care of the rest. I have some big plans of my own this year and am in a great place now, so look out 40, it’s going to be a ride!
Fifteen years ago today, nine months and nine days after getting married, I became a dad.
After a long night, and thirteen anxiety filled hours of labor, I held a baby girl in my arms. I had never been particularly drawn to babies, but this one captured my heart and stole my attention from the first moment we met.
I was fascinated by her. I watched every move she made. The soft rise and fall of her chest with each breath, the jerky twitches of her feet, and the way her little hands curled around my finger. I wanted to see every movement and hear every sound.
I remember asking the nurse to change her diaper because we had no idea what to do. We left the hospital unsure of our ability to care for the little thing. Thankfully she was resilient and amazing.
Today that little girl is fifteen. She’s eager to start driving, loves going to dances, spends hours every day writing stories, listening to music and helping with her younger siblings, even though she still can’t pour without spilling!
She brings joy and laughter to or home as she bravely forges forward into life. We have a special bond. Maybe it’s because we’re both firsts in or family, or just those moments we shared figuring out life, but she’s special to me.
So, happy birthday #1! I love you and hope you enjoy today and this coming year. Thank you for making me a dad.