I married my high school sweet heart.
We started dating on the first day of high school in 1984. I was a sophomore, and my wife was a junior, so ya, you can go ahead and do the math, and you'll quickly discover that we're currently the old parents at the PTO meeting. 32 years later we are more in love than ever and raising 7 wonderful children. When we were in college, pre kids, pre marriage, pre commitments really, we would talk about all of the important things that sweethearts talk about, like where we wanted to live, what we wanted to do for a career and of course how many children we wanted. My lovely bride has, from a very early age wanted a large family. Shockingly she has always said she wanted 12 children! This proclamation would have scared off many suitors, but not me. I just looked at that number as the beginning of a very long and challenging negotiation. So obviously my number was 1. As I have already mentioned we have 7 children, so what does that say anything about my negotiation skills? Not a lot. Obviously I lost, and I am so thankful that I did! I could not imagine life any other way, and even if I could I wouldn't want to change one single thing.
As the father to both a senior in college and kindergartner (and lots in between) you can imagine that I am not the youngest dad in the room at the kindergarten holiday party. But really, I wouldn't change that for the world either. Sure there are moms and dads there that are the same age as my oldest daughter. And based on all of the yoga pants and workout clothes that are being worn I am also certain that my knees probably make much more noise getting out of bed in morning than theirs do. In spite of an aging frame, I like being the old dad. There are some very real and wonderful advantages to being the oldest dad in the room.
I sit in awe at the breakfast table every morning at the blessings I have been given.
I have an appreciation for laughter and dumb jokes that I have never had before. When I could run faster and move quicker I never fully appreciated a slow intentional kiss on a forehead, a lingering snuggle on the couch, the warmth of a little hand in mine or the gift of extra innings at a baseball game with me and my little guy in the stands. I appreciate the the little moments, this little clutch of time and these amazing gifts from God more than I ever have.
We have all heard they grow up so fast, and from this season in life I confirm that they do. Hey young dad, slow down, walk slower, hug longer and drink fully of the gift that you have been given.
My nightly prayer goes something like this. (It is short because like I said I have 7 kids, and I am usually exhausted.) Lord, thank you for the gift of this family. My desire is to raise them in a way that glorifies you... zzzzzzzzz.
|Photo credit goes to the amazing Blue Lily Photography!|