So you’re eight today, a day I thought would surely take forever to get here; but here we are. I can go on and on about how I hate how fast time is going by, but this isn’t about that. This is about celebrating the boy you are becoming, and the little man you will be soon.
You are eight and I am older, but much, much better knowing you are coming along so nicely. I’m not really sure how we have accomplished this. I remember holding you in my arms when you were a baby, and wondering what you would be like when you grew up. I was anxious and nervous, but instantly calmed seeing your mother hold you and love you.
I see you around people, how polite and respectful you are… but it’s when I see that little mischevious twinkle in your eye that I love you the most. I also love you the most when I see how kind your heart is. I can’t decide between the two, so I’ll go with both.
You slept in our bed until a couple of years ago. I know you could have slept on your own, but it was really me that still wanted to hold you at night. I was the one that was a wreck when you and your brother moved into your own room. Weird, huh? I don’t really care, because those were years when I was working crazy hours and momma was hanging on to her sanity and the only time I had to connect with you was when we settled in at night and I was able to hold you as you fell asleep on my shoulder. I would do it all the same again, if I could.
One night about six months ago, when we just had moved into our new house and we were still getting a feel for things, I needed to go outside and get something out of my car. It was dark, I mean pitch dark, but you ran right by me into the night. I thought about how brave you were, how I might never had done that at your age, but then you came back running to me, grabbed my hand and led me to the car. I felt humbled that you wanted me to hold your hand, and grateful that you still needed that. I hope those days last a long time.
Computers and all things lego are an obssesion with you right now. It makes me laugh to think how alike we are, and how the same things I was into at your age you are currently obssesing about. Don’t worry, I drove my papa and momma crazy with it also. I have some personality flaws that I’m afraid I may have passed on to you also, but no worries there… I think I’ll understand you much better than I’ve understood myself so far.
It is amazing to see how you love your sister and brother. You are a wonderful older brother. You are patient beyond our dreams with your sister, sometimes so much more than your momma and I. That makes you pretty amazing.
Your mother and I love you. I tell you that every night when I put you to bed. I love that little ritual every night, and hate it when I miss it when I am traveling. I know the days are numbered on nightime rituals and wanting to hold my hand. It’s ok, I also enjoy watching you grow. But I do enjoy these days immensely. Happy Birthday buddy, I love you, and you can be sure that it won’t be the last time I tell you that.
A text… from the wife:
I’m pregnant… Just took a test… I’m at J’s… Can’t really talk… You can text me though…Love you
God, I love her… I mean, what better way to tell your phone obsessed, technology geeked out husband than by sending a text like that???
I spent the rest of the afternoon with a silly goofy smile… the thought of another baby just about making me smile till it just about hurt.
Can you say AWESOME????
It’s true (Wikipedia say so), there are penguins in Africa. There’s Madeleine up there hanging out with them. I don’t want to sound ignorant, but I never knew there were penguins in Africa. And I watch the Discovery channel. A lot. But this isn’t about the penguins. It’s about people I love that are in Africa, and the one I truly love wanting to go to Africa.
Carter, Madeleine, Jen and Dave are all in Africa right now. That blows my mind. Mostly because I imagine I might never get to see the things they are seeing. But it mostly makes me happy, because I know what an adventure they are having. Along with the adventure comes a deep love for people and an understanding of what is still not right with this world.
The day before we left Cape Town, we drove to the Cape of Good Hope where we saw wild baboons with babies on their back, a couple of ostrich, cape zebra and a huge whale out in the Atlantic. Earlier in the day the kids swam with wild African penguins at Boulder Beach near Simon’s Town. By the end of the day we were high from the sheer joy of it all. I have pictures, but no time to post.
We keep running into a lovely couple from San Francisco–Dave and Antonia–we were seated on the same section of the plane coming from New York. It feels nice to see a familiar face, and we laugh each time at the coincidence.
It’s so beautiful here in the Winelands, but a tiny bit sad. “I feel bad that only black people are cleaning and helping us,” Madeleine said. “No white people.” I feel the same, trying to unravel in my mind the complicated story of class and race in this country. Black or white, everyone we have met here has welcomed us with kindness and grace. We feel the blessing of warmth and the weight of histories not that different from our own as Americans.
Back here in the states, Jen’s African adventure has re-stoked the wife’s lifelong dream of going to Africa. Amazingly enough, an opportunity has come along for her to go to Sierra Leone as part of a church outreach ministry and work at a child rescue center. She approached me about it without any hope of me actually agreeing to it, but you know, I don’t want to be the guy that kills his wife’s one lifelong dream. I’m really excited for her. It’s mind blowing really, to think she will be a world away. I’m sure the experience will be good for both of us. I hope everything falls in place, and if it does, she’ll be heading for Africa come September.
This weekend was a mad crazy rush to get things done. We had the 10k to get to, a house to clean up, and friends to entertain and hang out with. With a big sigh of relief we accomplished all and had a lazy Sunday to help recover from all the running around.
The wife was this year’s 10k participant. I did it last year and had a pretty good showing, but my knee surgery kept me out of this year’s race. Not only did she do it, but she kicked some serious butt. I am so proud of her. She’s a bit like me… ultra competitive and driven. I know she wasn’t exactly where she wanted to be in her running regimen, but she did awesome. It inspired me to get off my butt and back in the gym, and I am officially dropping my name in the hat for next year’s race.
After the wife was done running, we had a good time cheering people on, and even saw some of our friends finishing the race. It was fun cheering other people on, and giving them that extra little push towards the end.
After all that, we headed to Fuddruckers for a post race burger, then headed home to clean up the house. It was a mad dash to get everything ready, but once everything was done, we had a great time hanging out with our friends. Food, beer, fun… it ended up being a great day.
I swear, I just adore this kid…
Dear Jesus I hope you had an awesome valentine’s day and i hope you had a great day too… ummm the end