Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Love, More

I return to this completely ignored space to acknowledge my twin boys' 18th birthday.  I'm still marveling that these 6'1" young men started off on August 22, 2000 as 30-week premies each weighing less than four pounds.

Dear son,

Earlier this summer you wore your new suit and brown dress shoes to a family event and afterwards you went to the grocery store where you work to finish up a training.  You got out of the car and were walking through the parking lot when a woman flagged you down.  She came up to you and said "Congressman, I need to talk to you." It took you a minute to understand what was going on.  You stopped her and explained you were in high school and were heading into your job at the grocery store.

She thought you were Congressman Joe Kennedy.

Needless to say when you called to tell me the story you were over the moon.  You are the definition of a political junkie.  You are fascinated with elections, polls and policy debates.  You read books by former White House chiefs of staff and want to discuss them. 

When you were younger I would tell you to use your powers for good.  You have always had a presence that people noticed and apparently you carry yourself like a Congressman.  As you move into adulthood please use your powers for good in whatever you do.

I know you will.

I love you.

Happy Birthday to my Big Man,


Dear Son,

Your rugby coaches say you are one of the few guys on the team who thinks several plays ahead.  You describe it as if you are over the pitch and can see the plays from up above.  Your ability to think about systems or next steps amazes me because I don't often think that way.  

You are still thinking through next steps as you go into your final year of high school.  You're young, strong and have years of experience from working in the grocery store and for landscapers.  You talk about owning your own business, being the one responsible for everything, and I have no doubt you will do it well.

Often you talk at the dinner table about people's lives.  Your co-workers feel comfortable telling you what is happening to them (one former manager texted you after you stopped working with him to tell you his wife is pregnant) and even giving you nicknames (such as a Salvadorian pop singer because of you wear headphones and sing while you work).  Ever since you were little you noticed people and their concerns.  I hope you will care for and support the people who work for you.

I know you will.

I love you.

Happy Birthday to my Big Man,

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy Birthday, Happiness

April 23, 2018

Dear Darling Daughter,

You are 14 years old today.  Some days it seems you are in your 20's, talking rationally about plans, interpersonal relationships and current events - so much so it makes me do a double take.  Then there are other days when you are an emotional, blubbering teenager and I think "where did THAT come from?!?" because I forget you are an emotional, blubbering teenager.

Yet you always bounce back from the blubbering.  Rarely do you let things fester and you move beyond the hurt or stumbling.  I try to be more like you because even though you are 35 years younger than I, you have a wise and sturdy soul.  It is not something a person can acquire but something a person is born with.

The Kahil Gibran poem On Children describes you and your effect on me:

"You may strive to be like them,                                                                                             but seek not to make them like you.                                                                                 For life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterday." 
 You are solidly a teenager now.  You are finishing 8th grade and entering high school.  You are gearing up for a new challenge and are excited for all that it will bring.

I am excited too.  Because you are going to do great.  And I am going to keep learning from you.

Happy Birthday.

I love you,