I'll spare you the gory details but several hours (about 1 in the morning on Monday) and one episode of "Lois and Clark" later, our first child was born.
It's a scary thought bringing a kid into this world. Challenges, responsibilities, struggles and sacrifice--not to mention trying to teach a child how to live against the flow of this world. Speaking as a pro though (three children safely delivered), the blessings far outweigh the tough moments that dot the landscape of my kids' lives.
So, I want to write a thank you note. Today is Harrison's birthday. Actually, his first name is Ridley (he is officially the fourth of that line). Thank you...for a whole lot of things but these are just a few:
- for sharing your million dollar smile (soon to be more expensive as we prepare for the "braces years") and those amazing dimples.
- for loving me unconditionally, even when I prove that daddy's are not perfect (some less so than others)
- for causing me to stop and appreciate more of the minutes that God has given us. Crickets and dogs and thunderstorms and Walmarts (I know it's questionable whether the last one is from God or not, but there's no denying your fascination with them)
- for amazing hugs, infectious laughter and stupid jokes
- for giving me a buddy to watch games with, talk sports with and learn about girls with
- for making me look forward to grandchildren and how they'll repay you some day (GRIN)
- for giving me another reason to pray every day for your heart, soul, mind, future, and future spouse
- for adding another reason to look forward to the years ahead as I watch with great expectations to see what God does with you and your sisters
- for causing me to re-examine my faith a dozen times a month as we talk about what it really means to follow God
- for being one of many reasons I have to get up in the morning and take care of my self for a longer life
- for reminding me daily that the most perfect analogy of my relationship to God is that of a patient Father and a growing son. I only hope that your daddy can learn to love you the way that my Father has loved me
I hope you have a happy 13th, buddy. You have been an amazing gift to me these 13 years. I pray that you and I share at least 5 or 6 more decades together. (This blog doubles as a reminder to all the family members who read that you're supposed to wish him "happy birthday" today.)