I wrote a note to Gabe about gratitude (see, you’re not the only one who has to deal with that) that he probably put in his “read that later” folder, or his “skim this for the general gist” folder. But the last part of it I thought I would share with you because it is a tribute to the amazing little people I brought into this world and how those little people made a father. Thought you would like it (don’t just skim it).
(the part about gratitude was the first two sections, and then I followed that with this). . .
I was shoveling the driveway yesterday—it was tough, heavy stuff—and I thought of you, how you used to help me shovel, the tube path we built and the note I wrote about it on your 17th birthday. I had just had a conversation with Grandma who wanted to discuss what she thinks it takes to raise children the right way. So as I’m shoveling the driveway and thinking about all this I wish I had told her something that I am going to tell you. I became a father the day my first child was born, but then I learned how to be a father for the next 26 years. I remember, for example, that I really was a such a hapless story teller and an even worse writer.
I learned how to tell stories and I learned how to listen from the many nights sitting in your room as you were falling asleep, and I learned how to write because Mom had an idea that we should write to each of our children on their birthdays. In many ways you, Ben and Rachel have enabled me to become the person I am today (not just the parent I am today). I didn’t start out this way, you guys made me this way, and if I’m a good parent I owe it to all of you. I had no choice. You were amazing little people. I had to give you what you deserved, and for that, I had to get a lot better at it.