14 years ago today I looked into the eyes of my first born child. I rejoiced in God blessing us with a son. I could not believe that we were now parents. I didn’t get an instruction manual or a “dummies guide to parenting.” I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
And I still don’t.
14 years ago today I knew I would make mistakes. I knew I would fail him. I knew I’d use the wrong words at the wrong time and in the wrong place. I feared I would wound his spirit while trying to correct his will. I hoped I would do my best to raise him to avoid all of the mistakes I have made while trying to recognize the traps I fell in.
And I still do.
When we found out we were having a son, a popular song on the radio featured the following lyric which became an anthem of sorts for me:
If I had just one wish, only one demand
I hope he’s not like me, I hope he understands
That he can take this life and hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world with arms wide open…
In his first 14 years I think a majority of that is true. He has majored in the things which I was never good at. Thankfully he inherited the discipline of his mom when it comes to his education, studies and knowledge. He’s excelled in the classroom and in sports. I did none of those things at his age and thank the Lord that he does. They will carry him far in this life.
What I lacked in all of those things, I have tried to give him somewhere else. For as long as I can remember, he has been my shadow. He quietly absorbs every conversation, interaction and discussion with people. My hope over these 14 years is that he has learned to greet the world with arms wide open. I hope he’s learned to be brave, courageous, fearless and never afraid to try something. I hope he’s learned that people and relationships are quite possibly the greatest thing you can invest in.
14 years ago I looked at this child and knew immediately that nothing could ever change how I feel about him. There is nothing he could do that would separate him from the place he holds in my heart. I felt that way in that hospital room 14 years ago.
And I still do today.
Happy Birthday Son.
I Love You.