Thursday, August 22, 2019

Love, More

I return to this completely ignored space to acknowledge my twin boys' 19th 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. In a week they head off to college.

Dear son,

The other day the boat had to be taken out of the water so it wouldn’t be buffeted about during high winds and incoming storms. It needed to be driven across the bay to a launch deep enough to accommodate the trailer. Your dad drove the truck and you were driving the boat. I hopped in with you.

That 20 minute ride was thrilling and humbling. Thrilling because it was fast and bumpy. The sun was shining and we were laughing. Humbling because driving a boat is a skill I don’t have. If we got in a predicament I’d have looked to you to figure out the next step. You were confident and knowledgeable.

This is the first of many things you’ll do on your own, skills you’ll gain without me, experiences that I will never hear about as you leave for college next week. I know you will move forward with purpose, learn and grow from your mistakes and make a difference.

I love you more than you will ever know.

Happy birthday little man.


Dear son,

Yet another article has come out about how oral health care has contributed to the overuse and abuse of opioids. Earlier this summer you had jaw surgery requiring an overnight stay at the hospital. You bleed for days. Yet you dealt with the crushing, mind-numbing pain with little more than ibuprofen and ice packs. You were begging to go back to work six days after the surgery despite not being able to chew or use a straw.

You are stronger than you give yourself credit. As you head off to college next week remember that strength. Remember how you overcame crushing pain and very bleak moments. Remember that you wanted to work while still in pain because it helped take your mind off it.

Life is going to be full of opportunities, challenges, pain and triumph. Your path isn’t going to be a straight course through a set of check boxes but you will figure it out. And it’ll be amazing to watch.

I love you more than you will understand.

Happy birthday little man.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Happy Birthday, Happiness

Dear Darling Daughter,

Well this got awkward.

You found my blog and have been reading your birthday letters.  So instead of being something I wrote that went out into the ether, this is now something you're going to read. In real time.

First off, happy birthday.  You start thinking about your next birthday the night of your current birthday (so tonight you will start planning for your 16th).  You truly enjoy birthdays and I hope you never lose that joy of having a day to celebrate you and all that you are.

But you should celebrate you every day (not with gifts, don't get greedy).  You personify resiliency.  You have shown great strength and perseverance since a young age and I continue to marvel at.

You started at a new school last fall.  You wanted to attend a co-ed school after three years at an all-girls school in part so you would have peers to look in the eye.  At 6'2" you were tired of being the tallest human being on campus and now have tall guys in the mix in your classes.

You also wanted to try rowing and this new school has a low-key team.  You walked into the boathouse the school uses and found other super tall people from other schools and programs.  You found a sport that celebrates your height that doesn't involve running (basketball) or jumping (volleyball) both which aggravates your knees.  Last month you tried out for a competitive club program and now row six days a week.  It's a level of intensity I didn't think you were ready for and once again you are showing strength and perseverance as you deal with really nasty blisters, throwing up after intense 2Ks on the erg, and sore muscles.

I shouldn't doubt you because you personify resiliency.

I hope you never doubt yourself.

Happy Birthday.

I love you,