Today is your first birthday. Wow, did that fly by. Sort of, that is. As they say, the nights crawl and the months fly.
I can barely picture what our life was like before your entrance. I don’t remember what it feels like to sleep through the night. I don’t remember what it feels like to have peace and quiet in the house. More importantly, I can’t remember how we lived without a perfect little bundle of joy, laughs, and the purest happiness.
I won’t lie and say everything has been easy. You haven’t perfected the art of sleep (during day or night). You have perfected; however, the art of exploding diapers. It’s impressive really. You can take some milk and a little snack and turn it into a weapon of mass destruction. For real though.
Over the past year, there are so many small things that stick out to me. Your first tooth. Your second tooth. Your third, fourth, fifth, and sixth teeth. Learning to sit up, crawl, and stand up. The audible “Mmmm” sounds you make anytime you taste ANYTHING. You, my boy, are NOT a picky eater these days.
If there is a book around, you want to read it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Dr. Seuss book or a Target catalog. I hope that continues for the rest of your life. Read, read, read. Let those books enhance your knowledge. It’s ok to read things that back your beliefs and values, but also read things that challenge you and make you think. Always keep learning.
You’ve already taught me so many things. Yes, some of those revolve around diapers, sleep, and feedings. But so many others concern my attitude and character. It’s both amazing and terrifying to realize that my emotions and reactions will help shape you as an individual. I hope I can continue learning to grow as your father. I hope you are proud to have me as an example in your life. I want to strive for perfection for you, but I also want you to see a man of integrity who learns from his mistakes. I want you to see a man who treats your mother with nothing but love and respect. And I want you to always know you can trust me to protect and encourage you.
I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I want it to be the future you want. Don’t let me pressure you to be an athlete, doctor, singer, programmer, engineer, or astronaut. But regardless of what your passions are, always know that I’ll be there for your practices, recitals, graduations, plays, performances, and everything in between.
You and your mother are my world. Maybe our family will continue to grow, but it will always be that — a family. We will always stand up for one another and we will always have each other’s backs. No one will ever be able to break us apart.
Most of all, trust in God and in yourself. Know that you’re capable of anything. Know that God is there for you through all things. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, but always try to learn from them.
Ask for forgiveness. Sit with the lonely kid. Fight for the little guy. Smile at the sad one. Make eye contact with everyone. Stand tall. Have a firm handshake. Laugh at yourself. Be generous. Make the world a better place.
I’m already so proud to call you my son. Watching your body and mind grow from day to day gives me such a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. I love you, Brigsby, more than you can possibly know. Go crush this thing called life.
Happy Birthday, buddy.
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