The big 4 OHHHH…!!
Well, coincidentally, I happen to be a huge fan of him and his music, and, since it’s an “I’m a fan Friday”, I’m going to post one of his songs here for you to enjoy!
Happy Birthday, Lee! I love you!
My wife loves to knit. She’s been doing it for about 10 years now. She even reads knitting blogs! Two, in particular, are her favorite– The Yarn Harlot and Mason Dixon Knitting. To be honest, it’s gotten to be a bit of an obsession.
She took a trip down to “South Jersey” to meet “The Yarn Harlot” herself a few years ago. I wasn’t aloud to come.
“Oh, you wouldn’t want to come anyway!”
“Yes I would! What are you talking about? I like what you like! I’m happy when you’re happy!” etc…
I’ve learned a thing or two in the 21 years we’ve been married.
“Well forget it. This is MY THING!”
“Geeze. Well, alright… You know… have fun. Call me?”
Anyway, my point is, my wife doesn’t just knit, she’s a “Knitter”.
I hear you asking it right now, “There’s a difference?”
Yes, Virginia, there sure as shootin is! It’s kind of cool, too, to be honest.
She’s great at a whole bunch of things, but she’s about a genius at this! She made this baby blanket for the daughter of our dearest friends and it’s absolutely amazing! She was able to give something to a child and that child’s family that will be something they will cherish and hold dear for that child’s entire life. What an impact!
For our daughter’s senior year in high school last year, she knitted this awesome bag. Our daughter carried it the entire year!
This year, in preparation to send said daughter off to college, she knitted this pillow of the school’s mascot.
She taught me how to knit a few years ago; basic stuff, of course. A friend of ours from church had lung cancer, so I decided to knit him a scarf. I finished it for him and gave it to him in the winter. He died in the spring. I cried a lot.
A few years back, my wife knitted a shawl for her dear friend who was also a Knitter and who also had cancer. The woman loved the shawl and wore it often. She died too.
I guess all we can really do in this life is try our best to make the moments we have count as best we can. My wife is good at that.
I want to be like her.
“If you do something you truly love, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
I complain about clichés, sometimes; mostly because I think we use them to generalize things that can’t really be generalized. (I’m the guiltiest of all!)
Maybe I could try to be a little more specific…
“If you do something that puts to use your own, special and unique talents in a way that connects with other humans on the planet and contributes something positive to the world, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Yeah, mine’s a bit more long-winded. (I can get like that– making things more complicated than they have to be.) But, I think it makes a difference here. Doing something you love is awesome, who doesn’t like to do things they love, but what difference does it make?
Seeking out a living where your true talents are on display and people’s lives have the potential to be changed for the better because they encountered you is what we really need to be teaching our children.
No child left behind? Ok, great. So, why are we leaving so many behind?
Math and Science are extremely important, but how much are we leaving out when that becomes all that matters? What kind of adults are we making out of our children? Do they have a purpose? Are they doing what they were born to do?
It’s not an easy thing to find that career “sweet spot” where you’re full on doing what you love all the time, and I know plenty of people who say, “We can’t always get what we want out of our lives.”
To them I say, “What is it, actually, that you want?”
I know what I want to do for a living: to connect with people in truly meaningful, and potentially life-altering ways when using my God-given talents to the best of my ability.
That’s what I want. It doesn’t always show up the same way, nor is it an easy pursuit, but on the occasion when all cylinders are firing and the magic is happening, it feels just right.
It feels like this…
Malisa and I had been married for two years and things were moving ahead brilliantly, just like we had planned. She was finishing up her undergraduate studies and I had one more year of graduate school. Then it was off to New York City! We weren’t even remotely ready for what happened next.
When Malisa showed me the test strip with the matching red plus signs, I just stood there. So did she. This was not in the plan right now. In a few years, sure, but not now. We weren’t ready.
Cut to late summer, 2013…
I’m sitting on the beach in Delaware, looking down to the water and watching my now 18 year old daughter splash in the waves. I want to get up, run down and hug her. I want to pick her up and swing her around like I used to do when she was four. She’s still small enough for me to do it, but I won’t; too embarrassing! (“You’re so weird!!”)
I’m trying not to pay any attention to the date. If I do, I’ll realize that we’ll be dropping her off at camp (ok, college. There, I said it!) in less than two weeks. Of course I’d seen this day coming, but I wasn’t even remotely ready for what happened next.
Cut to two days ago…
The university she’s attending is only an hour away; one hour, door to door. It’s nothing to blubber about. She’s ready. She’s going to do amazing things in college and in her life. I’m incredibly proud of the woman she’s become, and I have no reservations about her readiness to leave the nest. It’s nothing to do with that.
Nobody tells you when you’re learning to change your firstborn’s diaper that one day, when the time comes to let her go, you’ll miss a dear friend.
At every stage of her life, there would be someone older than me who would see us together and would stop me and say, “This is THE greatest age! It was my favorite age with our daughter!” People would say that virtually every year. I took that in and really tried to appreciate every stage of life as she was going through it. Admittedly, not every stage was a favorite of mine, but that’s life, it’s always going to have its ups and downs
So it was, with all of those stages behind us, and a brand new stage right in front of us, that I gave her one last hug before getting into the car and watching her wave goodbye in the rear-view mirror.
There was nothing else to do but leave. I’m just in the way, now. I realized that it was what I was destined to do all those years ago. My job was to get her to the stage she’s in right now and, truth be told, it’s my favorite. But, I used to say that virtually every year.
I seem to remember someone once saying something along the lines of, “Just when your children get to the age where they’re actually interesting, it’s time for them to leave home.”
Well, my daughter has been more than interesting at every stage of her growing up with us, and she’s given me more treasures to store up in my heart than a man should be allowed.
I was ready when it was time for her to take her first steps and say her first word (which was “Daddy”, btw!). I was ready when it was time for her to go off to kindergarten. I was ready for middle school and high school.
I’m just not sure there was anything I could have done to be remotely ready for what happened next.
A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Educational Resources for WordPress.com
poetry, erotic shorts, and other stuff
ACTING LIKE A HUMAN
ancient ideas, fresh trails
Where I race to the chocolate bar
Travel. See. Shoot. Learn.
Real living of a genuine faith in Jesus while our world watches...
Social, Political, and Cultural Commentary
Words About God, Life, and Coffee
Lexi Windsor .:Singer.Dancer.Actress:.
a blog archive experiment about the Nelson fam on Springvale Drive
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.” ― Rabindranath Tagore