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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I remember the day pretty clearly (even for my 40 year old mind). It actually began on Sunday. Laying on the couch, I was half-asleep, half watching a playoff game. From the back of the house, I heard the muffled cry of my first wife, Sarah. "It's time." Time? Time for what? I was too incoherent to make sense of what she was sharing with me...but only for a few seconds. A second cry from the back cleared the cobwebs and brought me to my feet in an instant. "It's time!!"

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.)

3 comments:

Diana said...

Ridley,

How awesome that a dad can post something that is filled with love, honor, commitment, and is packed with gratitude for the gift of a child that graced you with his presence and no doubt rocked the foundation of your life 13 years ago.

RHB #4,
Happy 13th birthday. Stick close to you dad...he is the only other guy in your house. Girls aren't always the easiest people to live with.

Diana

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

Hey Ridley! That is pretty cool..and sounds like your boy is pretty special! I have one of those too..and coincidentally, he is turning 13 on the 17th! Amazing how fast they grow isn't it? I pray every day that God will protect his heart and mind. He has such a great personality right now that I don't him to lose that to the teenage years!!! He has a very tender heart for God also and I pray his heart is never hardened. I pray I can be the Godly mother that he needs.

Sorry, I got off on MY son..but I think yours is pretty special too. Happy Birthday to him!!!

Tonda said...

This crazy aunt thought it was YESTERDAY so I already text sang to him last night. He is adorable and an amazing young man. His dimples will always be my favorite, too. You're a wonderful daddy and I know one mama who would be so proud of her boys. Love you both dearly!