On the occasion of your second birthday

The time is flying by for us. Two years ago you wanted nothing more than to be held, eat, and sleep. A year ago you were just learning how to walk. Now you are running all over the place, climbing (sometimes on things you shouldn’t be), swinging from ropes over foam pits, and balancing while standing on your rocking horse. Your fearlessness amazes us. A few falls and bumps have done nothing to temper that.

Your happy nature and outgoing personality draw people in. Every time we take you out, you introduce yourself to someone new. You are like your mother in that way. It’s a gift I don’t have and something I admire in you.

You also have a stubborn streak. I say you get that from your mother too, but she insists that you got it from me. We have seen you about to throw something and tell you not to do it. Then we watch as you consider the consequences, throw it anyway, and then put yourself in time out.

The other side of that stubborn streak is your enthusiasm. You put your heart into everything you do. Keep that passion, it will serve you well when you decide what you want to do in your life.

Another aspect is your helpfulness. You were so proud the first time I let you help me clear the table and gave you a plate to carry to Mommy in the kitchen. The intense look of concentration on your face as you made sure not to drop the plate or the silverware on top of it. You made it and came back for more. You helped until the entire table was clean. Little things like that show your generosity of spirit. Nurture that as you mature and you will be a blessing to everyone around you.

You have been a blessing to us. I love being your Daddy. God bless you. I love you. Happy Birthday Sunshine.

The good things

This has been a good week for learning. I went to an off-site training class for work. This was a three-day class. I was expecting a corporate style class on business communication. I got so much more. It was an intense class – especially today. Maybe more on that later, but maybe not.

The good part about a class that is coming home to what it important. An added benefit to these three days was being home to give Bailey her bath and get her ready for bed.

And then the topper, spending time with her before putting her down for the night. I was flipping her lip. She loved it. Here is the result.

Heart strings

My wife’s mother and grandmother visited us the last two week. Yesterday, my wife flew with them back to Las Cruces for a week to attend a wedding and baptism.

I was able to get a pass to help my wife get to the gate with Bailey. During the wait for the plane to load, I was letting Bailey run around the waiting area to burn some energy off the flight. She was doing her normal thing in charming everyone she saw. She eventually slowed down and I picked her up to wait for the boarding call.

Honeybun got to go first when the time came. I got a goodbye kiss from Bailey and passed her to Honeybun. Being the Daddy’s girl she is, she put her arms out to me wanting me to take her back and fussed for a second. Then Honeybun told her to say goodbye. Bailey realized I wasn’t going with them and with a disappointed look waived and said, “Bye!” It was crushing. I even got sympathetic looks from the other passengers around us.

I miss them already. The bright side is, I actually got 8 hrs of sleep last night.

Strangers who pray

Julie at Happy Catholic linked to Patrick at The Paragraph Farmer about his encounter in a post office parking lot when an evangelical woman he never met before stopped to pray for him. Patrick asked if others had a similar experience.

A few weeks ago I took my daughter Bailey to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden. The main feature of the shrine is a 22 foot tall statue of Jesus on top of a hill. The 373 step “Stairway of Prayer” leads up the hill to the statue. With a little help to prop her up, Bailey climbed all 373 steps.

There were quite a few people at the top when we got there. Bailey wasted no time in introducing herself to some older children in her signature jabber. No one understood her but they responded back to her and played with her for a while.

After about 15 minutes most of the other people had left. Two other men, a young boy, and Bailey and I were all that remained. At that point, one of the men took off his cap, got down on his knees facing the statue, and began praying silently. Something about his actions attracted Bailey. She stood a few feet behind the man watching him. He prayed for a couple of minutes. She didn’t take her eyes off him the whole time.

When the man finished, he stood up, replaced his hat, and turned around. He looked down and saw my daughter staring up at him intently. The man looked over at me and said, “what a beautiful girl.” He then extended his right hand to the top of her head and prayed, “The Lord bless you.”

That part is my most vivid memory. I don’t have the words to explain how it moved me to see this stranger pray for God’s blessing on my child. I could only respond with an inaudible “thank you” I mouthed. I didn’t even find out his name. He left with his friend and the boy a minute later.

The entire scene lasted less than 5 minutes but it is burned in my memory. The prayers of strangers offered in charity are powerful indeed.