Tag Archives: birthday

Half a Century

Friday is my 50th birthday. No idea how that’s actually possible, but it is. I’ve probably lived through two lifetimes worth of experience during my time on this rock, and at the risk of being a corny cliche, I want to share a little of the wisdom I’ve earned along the way.

Most importantly, the people I know with the greatest material wealth are also the most miserable. Nothing ever fulfills them. There’s always a shinier trinket somewhere that someone else has. There’s always a need for more of this or that. Conversely, the happiest people I know don’t necessarily have much money. Their basic needs are met, of course, but they find contentment in life itself: helping others, enjoying a hobby, bonding with friends and family, and being grateful for the blessings they do have.

The second most important thing I’ve learned is that karma is real. It might grind slowly, and it might not always be public, but eventually, you will reap the seeds you have sown.

The third most important thing is that your family is comprised of the people who stand by you through it all. Blood has little to do with it. Cherish the people who have your back. Cherish the ones who love you unconditionally. Cherish the ones who accept you as you. Cherish them because they are rare and precious.

Finally, for the sake of this post anyway, take the chance to follow your dreams. For all intents and purposes, my writing career was a failure. I’ve lost far more money than I ever made from it. I never won any awards and never sustained the small successes I did achieve. But I regret none of it. I had a dream and chased it, sacrificed for it, and gave everything I had in me to make it come to life. Even though I didn’t make it, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction in the pursuit. I had the balls to put myself out there and the ability to complete a pretty good fantasy series. No one can ever take those two things from me. So if you have a dream, say forming a business or getting a degree or starting a rock band, go for it. Even if you fail, you will know the satisfaction of having been in the arena.

That’s all for now. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates. Hopefully I still have a few years to kick around this rock.

Thursday Morning Ramblings – 9/5/2019

Today is my youngest son’s 13th birthday. I have a hard time believing that much time has passed, but it’s true. He’s a wickedly smart kid, who has completely taught himself more about computers than I can fathom. Once upon a time, I built one from scratch to put that in perspective.

He also marches to his own beat, unapologetically so, and could not care less what you or anyone else thinks about him. He’s observant and perceptive, has a poet’s soul, and possesses a scathing wit. He reminds me of a better version of myself, and I hope he finds his way in this world more easily than I have.

Happy birthday, son. Your dad loves you more than all the sand on all the beaches on all the world.

That’s all for now.

Wednesday Morning Ramblings

Today, my youngest son turns six.  In some ways, those six years seem like a fraction of a second.  In others, they could be from a different lifetime.  Finn is an incredible child — scary bright, perceptive, strong as an ox, sweet, mischievous, and shy.  I call him my clone because he looks so much like me, especially when I was that age.  Sometimes, when I look at him, it’s like looking in the mirror 34 years ago.  He also acts a lot like me, stubborn, headstrong, and independent.  Whenever I allow myself to think about how he’ll be in 10 years, I honestly get a little scared because I’m certain he’ll be as curious about the world as I was.

Every father should have a son who looks at him the way Finn looks at me.  It’s pure, unconditional adoration, and it melts me every single time.  Collin loves me, but whenever he looks at me, there’s an element of hurt and anger in his eyes because of the scars left by the divorce.  Finn was too little to remember much from that time, so he doesn’t carry the same wounds. All he knows of me is the man who calls several nights a week, the guy who gets them a couple of times a year and showers them with attention, and the daddy who sings him to sleep every night he’s with me.  I know the day will come when he no longer looks at me like that and no longer wants me to sing; I’ve already gone through that with Collin.  Honestly, it will be a hard day, but for now, he enjoys being my youngest child and soaks up the attention.

Finn and I didn’t bond right away.  I was working two jobs and barely saw him for the first year of his life.  Back then, because Collin and I had bonded immediately, I felt tremendous guilt for not having that same connection with my baby boy.  Then, during one of first times they stayed with me just the three of us, it happened.  I had a porch swing and would rock him to sleep each night.  I felt the moment we bonded as clearly as I had with Collin.  We were on the swing, swaying back and forth, me singing about the tenth song to him as he fought sleep.  He buried his head into my chest and wrapped his arms around my neck and shoulder.  He pressed against me as hard as he could, and in that moment, we became father and son.

No amount of time is ever enough with my boys, and nothing will give us back what we’ve lost, but nothing will ever break the bonds we’ve formed, either.  Finn proves that to me every time he’s with me.  Despite having lived the majority of his life outside of my home and barely spending any time with me in person, he loves me deeply and knows I love him.  He’s an amazing child with unbelievable potential, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.  One day, he will accomplish great things.  I love you, my son.  Happy birthday.