Children. Kids. The next generation. Progeny. Offspring. The genetic mashup of you and your partner. The little people who completely change your life, who completely change you. Children.
I am in absolute awe of my children. For as long as I have known them, they have been teaching me, and helping me grow as a person. I owe them a debt that I can never repay, and I am deeply grateful to them.
As they were growing inside of their mother, locked away where I couldn’t see, they taught me that there are some things I cannot control. When they decided to break free, and join us on the outside, they helped me to see what an amazing person my wife is; and what it is like to care for someone who offered you nothing in return. As I changed diaper, after diaper, after diaper, after diaper, My intestinal fortitude increased dramatically, and as the urine splashed me, an unsuspecting new father, I learned to change those diapers with lighting ninja speed. When I was waiting anxiously for the next milestone, they taught me to be patient, that life is not a contest, and that everyone learns at their own pace.
Soon they began walking, and talking. they taught me to watch, and they taught me to listen. I learned that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure. I learned the number for poison control. I learned to follow my instincts, and ignore the critics, to do what is best for my family.
And as they grew older, they showed me how to play, sing, dance, and laugh without being ashamed. They modeled creativity, and originality. They taught me that its okay to make a mess, and that most things come out in the wash. I learned to love what they loved, only because they loved it. They taught me sacrifice, and over and over they taught me unconditional love. They showed me that I have something to live for, that I matter, and that I am needed.
Every time I hear those little voices saying, “Will you play with me,” or “Can you get me a glass of water.” When I find a sandwich in the couch. When I am at my wits end, I try to remember how much they have taught me, and how much they have given me, and what my life would be without them.
Oh, and they taught me to play Minecraft.
Looking back at the person I used to be, I can’t believe I have made it this far. There is no way I could have done it without them. Thank you kids. Thank you. I love you.