A wonderful 3-yr journey: An open "birthday letter" to my sons.

As my dear sons, Michael and Wm. turn three today...  here I take a moment to pause and reflect on what these past 3 years have meant to me, where we are now , and what I envision for the future as I continue my journey as a provider, nurturer, and teacher...  my journey as a father I suppose.  

Aside from marking another years growth... both my little men will be embarking on a journey of their own.... starting preschool.   Preschool marks a very important time for both parent and child. It is from this point you rely, depend, and pay others to help develop, guide, and teach your child to prepare them always for the NEXT level...    While there were things I may have missed , I did my best to instill values that will help them progress throughout life... I will always challenge them to keep an open mind and never stop being curious, inquisitive, and learned.

Here I write the words that I know today they may not quite comprehend, but place here that someday they will be able to see and learn just how important these past 3 years have been , how important they are to me, and possibly assess and measure all of our development and growth, because we are all growing together.  Please feel honored, privileged, and blessed in reading... Thanks.

Happy 3rd birthday Michael and Wm!,

I celebrate your presence every day, but today marks the 3rd year since your birth.  I can't believe it's been 3 years...  it's been an amazing journey.  In my wildest imagination I could have never thought things would be the way they are now.  Life has thrown a few curves at me....  but I've done my best to be father I thought you deserved. 

Hard to describe the feeling ... if you're a dad/mom.. you know.
 For the better part of the past three years I've been not only your dad, but your stay-at-home-parent, care provider, and so many other things that don't have official titles.  Unlike so many other dads I've been able to watch you grow, develop, and advance in ways that many dads don't have an opportunity to do.  I am so thankful for this.  It hasn't been easy... it certainly hasn't.  But I can't say wholeheartedly that if I could go back and change anything that I would.  I've lost a lot of wages.... but when I think of the value of what I've gained and what I hope YOU'VE gained from my time with you these past three years, there is no price you can put on that.  I'm not from royalty... but I feel as if I have lived the life of a thousand kings.

I remember the first day I held you both in my arms for the first time and I first thanked God for two healthy boys and then I looked at you both and said I would give my all to you and try to be the best father I could be.  I think in the over 30 years before you were born there was plenty I had to live for....  but I really didn't feel defined until I discovered something worth dying for. 

So many things have happened over the past 3 years, just this past year alone. But you boys have shown a level of resilience, determination, and humbleness that is remarkable.  It has been from you that I've drawn my strength, courage , and  determination..   It's not that I haven't wanted to give up at times... It's that I couldn't give up. I could never give up on you, because you haven't given up on me. I will always be grateful for your patience, gratitude, and humbleness through what at times has been challenging, difficult, and at times painful.  Someday when you are able to comprehend ... and wonder how WE made it through.. know that I didn't do it alone , but only with the grace of God.  

My first day at home w/ you guys by myself...  Scared?
What makes today an even more extraordinary day is that you will be starting preschool.  I'm quite proud of you and excited about this next challenge for you.  I believe and know wholeheartedly that you will teach (I mean learn) so many wonderful things, make new friends, and develop new skills.  It may be a bit emotional... but know that dad isn't unhappy for you.... but that it will be the realization that I'm not just one of two main influencers in your life now. For the next 16 years and beyond, there will be many teachers,coaches, and even colleagues who help provide the tools, skills, and some values to help you progress through life.  Its also from this point on that I will depend on both you and your brother to be each OTHER'S protector and guardian. Your mom and I can't and won't be there every minute. From here on, you both will never spend more time with any other individual than each other.  I hope the things I've tried to instill in you ...  team-work, "brothers keeper"  and the Staples credo.... "All for one and one for all"  will stay close to your hearts and remember that nothing or no one should ever come between the two of you.

Three years....  I think this is as a good a segue as any for all of us....  I feel I've done all I can and time to hand the reigns over.  I gave you what I wanted you to have to the best of my ability...  and that was mainly have a stay-at-home parent.  I believe that every child should experience the blessing of having a parent at home. There is NOTHING comparable to the experience for both child and parent. You'll discover and appreciate that as you get older.  It certainly gave me a new found appreciation for all the hard work my mom (your grandmother)l did.  But now that I've done my part... I can now focus wholeheartedly on re-establishing my career.  For one, as you are getting older , your needs are increasing, also I want to set an example for you as to what else it means to be a father... and that is being a provider.  There is so much more I want to do for you , places I want to take you, and opportunities I want to provide for you.  For that it will take resources... a lot of resources.  So please know that in the near future when it seems like things have changed....  like daddy isn't as available as much..  we haven't been to Target, Entertrainment Junction, or the park in a while.... it's not because I love you any less.  Its because I'm trying to provide for you now and your future. 

One of our last days "hanging out" before preschool..  Where did the time go?
In closing boys... I say thank you.  Thank you for the wonderful gift you've given me.  The gift of fatherhood.  Judging by your first 3 years , you boys are destined for greatness.  I have no doubt.  I don't just expect, but will require great things from you.... Not because I think you're capable , but I KNOW you are.  I love you.... love you more than you will ever know.

Happy Birthday,

Love Daddy

Thanks for reading...


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