I am blessed!
There are little doubts about that. I have decent health, a very nice life, amazing wife and family.I work hard and play with love and enthusiasm with my bride of just over a year.
We live as a family unit in a home that we love, in a neighborhood that we enjoy.
Our life as a family unit is not without the tests and speed bumps that most families have, and I would be naive to ever think that we are immune to "life-at-the-speed-of-life" meteorites.
When you have a 17 year old and a 24 year old that hail from different sets of sperm and eggs as one and other, living within a wall of each other; a degree in the "Psychology of parenting" would be of little use.
Throw in a 27 year old that lives on the other end of the country and the frustrations of not being "there" to help out and/or watch the Grandchildren grow and learn....The picture of us as the "Cleaver family" is muddied somewhat.
I never give up my goal of harmony as a family unit. I know perfection in unity will never exist, but I want to make two families come as close to being a family unit as possible. I get frustrated and emotional in my quest to be the "Best Dad " and "Best Husband".
"As best as I can be" is what I now strive for, but some days find myself saying under my breath "I wish I could make it better"
I think a few of things that get under my skin is a lack of gratitude for what we have. I know how blessed and fortunate we are, but trying to get those under the age of 30 in my life to accept that attitude is painful and frustrating at best.
I remember as a child of around 8 or 9 years old hearing another boy who was a classmate, answer a question the teacher asked us one day before our Christmas break.
"What are you looking forward to this Christmas, and what makes it extra special in your house?"
I will never forger James answer and believe it shaped the way I looked at life from that moment on.
"I know I will get a new sweater from my Grandmother which I need, and all of us kids are excited that our Mommy will make us waffles. We get them on Christmas and we love them. I hope that our Dad will visit us or even phone us this year."
This boy James had very little. We all knew that by his dress. We knew his Father lived elsewhere, which was odd for us living in 1965. Families were a unit of Mother, Father and kids. James family was certainty the exception to this.
He and his family were from a different social-economic background to be sure. For us kids at the age of 8, he may as well have come from a different planet. He had no bike, no ball glove, no hockey sticks at recess. No hockey cards, no treats from the candy store after school.
But the amazing thing was the impression he had on me one day and how it shaped me a little different from that moment. His views did not conform to my Paradigm of Christmas. How could you find enjoyment and happiness from a sweater and a waffle?
I had waffles with syrup every Saturday, and could get a sweater if I needed one, I was sure.
Christmas was boxes and boxes of toys. Candies and grapes and oranges. Turkey and chocolate puddings for goodness sake. It was defined by volume and numbers.
But what he said changed for me that day.
There were people who had less than I, yet had happiness.
There were people who accepted what life had to offer them, and were grateful for that. It mattered not to them that they did not have the shiniest or fastest of the newest bikes. It was not about the fattest turkey, or the biggest stocking. It was about gratitude for a warm sweater.
Now we have a society that "needs" and Ipad for their four year old child to "learn" at a better rate than the other four year old's.Sixteen year olds that need to have a Lexus for their first car bought for them. Nine year old's that will only wear J Crew.
There is no point on going on a rant that starts with "when we were kid's..." The point is this:
I wish we all had a bit more gratitude for what God has given us, no matter what it is. My good God ladies and Gents, take a look around and see how amazing this planet can be if we really look at it.
I may be deaf.
I may have many issues and curve balls coming at me daily.
Mary and I have disagreements on many things, a lot of days, but we still love each other more than I have ever loved.
I am blessed.