I turned 30 today. It was really a wonderful day, because my parents kept our two kids last night, so that my wife and I could go out and be together for the evening. We went out to dinner, got some coffee, took in a movie, and talked until late before going to bed. This morning, my parents got up with our kids so we could sleep in, and we all had breakfast together.
Last night was fun. We were young again. My wife and I talked about what it would be like if we didn’t have kids, and how much time and freedom we used to have before we had kids…but then sighed and, “But isn’t life so much richer with them?”.
My wife asked me this morning what I liked most about being 30. I said it was that I felt complete. I have a wife who I’m crazy in love with and whom I would rather spend my time with than anyone else I can think of. I have two beautiful daughters with so much personality it makes me laugh, a wonderful home, terrific neighbors, a job I enjoy very much, a church I’m honored to serve and be a part of, and I am loved by God. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get much better than this.
I know that success can be defined in several different ways, but I feel very successful. Not to say that I’ve done all this, because I haven’t. I’ve been blessed in an amazing series of events all orchestrated by God to write my story, I cannot, and do not take credit for any of my successes. I credit them all to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in my life. I credit all of it to Him.
I have so much to say, and as I sit down at the keyboard it starts to come pouring out, but let me first say what I sat down to write: As far as I’m concerned, anything I could gain in this world I already have. A loving family, a roof over my head, a job I enjoy, and a church that believes in the transformative power of Jesus Christ. I don’t think there’s much else. In the words of Johnny Carson: The only thing money gives you is the freedom of not worrying about money.
But enough about that. The point is, that I’m satisfied. As I wrote in a previous post a long time ago, if my name means nothing but the father of Hannah and Norah, and loving husband to Meagan, that is sufficient, and that is my fulfillment. I don’t want to hear arguments about my needs, because I know they exist, and I tend to them, but the point is, I’m not blinded by any dreams of material gains. I’m at peace with where we are, regardless of our finances and material possessions. I’m happy to have these days.
Make it count.
About a year and a half ago my wife and I were taking a walk around our town home community with our, then 2 year old daughter. The weather was beautiful so an older man was sitting on his front porch and struck up a conversation with us. We talked for a few minutes, and while we were talking he looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said the following:
I know you didn’t ask for my opinion in parenting, but I’m gonna give it to you. Make it count. Enjoy every moment you have with them when they’re little, because when you get to be my age, you’re gonna look back and wish you would have. You’re gonna wish you spent less time at the office and more time being with them when they were growing up, when they wanted to be with you.
My daughter’s grown now, and she’s got a daughter who’s a little older than yours. She started school this year, and I just happened to be there for her first day of school. She wanted me to walk her to the school bus, so I did.
We were all standing there when the school bus pulled up and she excitedly ran up to the bus, then stopped, turned around to wave bye… [he then begins to tear up]
…and I saw my daughter standing there, at five years old, getting on the school bus for the first time…
I’m tellin’ ya man, make it count. ‘Cause you never get those years back.
I’m 30 years old today. I have two beautiful daughters, and a wife I am in love with.
We have dance parties in the living room, we color and do crafts together. We make big breakfasts on Saturday mornings and our daughters lick the spoon. We make it count.
If I’m not living the dream…I don’t know what is.