T-E-N

Ten. Years. Old.
Where does the time go?
You’re already almost big as Mom — although, that’s really not saying much.

Son, words can not describe how much we love you and just how proud of you we are.
You continue to be a source of joy and a beacon of God’s light everywhere you go.

There are moments where I so desperately wish I can view the world through your eyes. What is it about trains that you find so exhilarating?
What is it about having cereal that brings you such joy?
What is it about firing up that grill that makes you so excited?

If anything, I want to see the world through your eyes because I think you approach the world the way Jesus tells us to approach the world: with wonder, joy, and love.
I ashamedly admit that I’ve become to jaded and hard-hearted towards (too) many things. So much so, my daily requests for God is to fill me with wonder.
You always serve as a reminder to find the joy that is so abundantly around us all the time— to not take granted the joys in little things like cereal; bubbles; trains.
It’s always so funny to see your joy and that smile when the train passes by while we’re hanging out at PCR then seeing the drivers stuck in the car because of that train. Usually they’re filled with indifference. Some times, they’re thoroughly annoyed because the train is making them even more late. Never, though, are they filled with joy or wonder.
I guess that’s what adulthood can do to us: beat out the child-like joy and wonder within us.

I so desperately want to protect you from how harsh and cold the world can be. But I know that’s not going to be helpful for you and your growth.
The world is what it is.
And we always find what we’re looking for.
If I spend too much time focusing on the coldness of the world and of humanity, not only will I find it but I will also miss out on the beauty and warmth.
And I believe with everyone ounce in me there’s more good than bad in this world; there’s more love than hate in the world. It’s just that sometimes we have to be really intentional in our search for love and goodness. But as someone told us, if we can’t find any good — be the good.

And I have no doubt that you’ll always be the good. You will always be a bearer of joy and love and I hope that your mom and I continue to do our best so that your light will shine and shine brightly.

Oh, my wrestling loving, watching Blackpink and Red Velvet music videos at school, kimchi killing, always wanting to eat meat,l train watching, have to say “hi” to everyone, Moana loving, hilarious, sweet, kind-hearted son: How loved you are. Always remember that. You are loved. We may not be rich in money, but we’re abundant in love.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy whose name means “Gift from God.”

On most days, you truly are a gift.

Love you more than words can say, Nathanael.
Happy birthday!

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