Five minutes ago, I found out that you were inside mommy’s tummy – or at least that’s what it feels like! But it’s actually been a whole year! Everybody was right when they told me how fast your first birthday would come, and the truth is, I like it! Now, you are turning into such a real live human being!! You already have 3 teeth – with the potential for having many more.
You are 27 inches (nice and tall like your mommy) and have a huge forehead with little hair (like your daddy).
You love animals (like daddy) and from all we can tell, they seem to love you too (like your mommy). Don’t worry about Mia though, she’s not capable of loving anybody, but we’ll talk about that when you’re three.
You light up at the sound of music (daddy) and are working on palming your first little basketball (mommy). You eat lots of fruits and vegetables (mommy) and shove them in two hands at a time (daddy). You sleep through the night and love to be babied first thing in the morning (frankly, that’s both of us).
For this entire year, you have been the type of baby that tricks suckers like me and your mommy into thinking that we might be able to do it again.
And just recently, you have become very good at leveraging your tantrums to get your point across. This doesn’t bother me, but it is different than your first several months. You really only cried when you needed something, which in your case was either a bottle or a nap.
But now, when you want something you can’t reach, or something I’ve taken away, you’ve become very good at producing the full sound of crying without a single tear. To your credit, it’s usually a matter of seconds before you’re on to your next adventure/obsession.
So here it is, burger, it seems like our task for the upcoming year is to focus on the difference between wants and needs. And I mean both of us.
This past year has been both the most joyful and the most cumbersome year of my life. I’ve had the best problems: great wife, great family, great job, great community, but words can’t tell you all about the hard time I’ve had remembering the difference between wants and needs.
I want more money. I want to be the best youth minister. I want to discover what I’m supposed to do to provide for my family so that you don’t get stuck for what you didn’t sign up for. But I need to be a good daddy. And I need to be a good husband to your mommy. And I need to enjoy all that I am blessed with now before I worry about the future.
We both know that at times this past year, I have confused my wants and my needs.
You see, it’s not that I need to be with you all of the time. Matter of fact, you’re going to need for me to be off doing “daddy’s thing” before I come home to do the daddy-thing a lot of time, as much as I’m going to want to be with you every waking second. It’s just that I’m going to have to work on making sure that I’m not always home when I want to be, but that I am always home when I need to be.
And it’s not that it is a bad thing to want things. Like you may want your B-Ball Bunny or an extra snuggle, or even a little bit of personal space (although that one is gonna hurt at first). I’m going to want things too. It’s just that you and I both are going to be a lot more free when we can identify what we want and what we need.
I want to raise you under the assurance that God’s greatest blessings are those around us. I want you to know the peace and freedom of having everything you need. I even want you to have a few of the things that you will want in this life.
And I need you to know that you and your mommy comes first.
So let’s do it, Burger. Let’s figure it out together.
But now, you’re up from your nap and it’s time for me to join you as we begin your 1st birthday party.
Because that’s what I want to do.
And because that’s what I need.
With All My Love,
P.S. Next time you do something cute, will you remind me to take the camera from mommy so that SHE could get in the picture… it would sure make for a prettier photo!!