January 25, 2000. Rebekah was 8 just days old and Atlanta was finally emerging from of one of the worst ice storms on record. Most of the outlining suburbs were still without power and the Superbowl between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans was in jeopardy. We spent a couple days in a hotel after heating bottles of formula on a small Coleman propane camping stove wasn’t cutting it anymore. I am thankful to the Marriot hotel that found us a room since all the rooms seemingly were booked due to the Superbowl that was just a few days away.
The below is what I wrote in her baby sketch book that day. Unlike Joey’s, this one was meant to be a poem, and I figured I would share it with you now 13 years later… now that Rebekah is a teenager. Disclaimer: I am not a poet, nor do I claim to be. 🙂
It’s time for us to return home now,
and Lord things just seem different.
The air seems lighter
the wind doesn’t seem as brisk.
The temperature through 20 degrees
isn’t as cold as it seems.
I’m smiling because
we return home with thankfulness in our hearts.
Home to comfort, pillows, lights and heat.
So I do not mind
the long walk to the car,
or that the chilly wind
cuts through my jacket cause,
it’s time for us to return home now
and lord, things… just seem different.
Different now, because
we can now enjoy in our home
that once there was three in our family
…but now there is four.
This picture sits on the side table located in my daughter Rebekah’s bedroom. It’s a picture of her and me at the hospital probably minutes after she was born. I love this photo of the two of us. It captures a moment in time that is burned in my memory forever. Rebekah was full term but tiny at birth. 5 lbs – 6 oz. For a bit of size perspective, all of her fingers could fit on my thumbnail. The reason I am writing this post is because I didn’t give Rebekah this photo for her picture frame. At some point she came across this picture on her own. She decided to hijack it from where ever it was, cut it to size, and place it inside this picture frame that at one time had her baby photo inside. Now this one of the two of us sits at her the bedside. When I asked her when she did this, she just smiled and raised her one eyebrow.
I love this girl like no other girl on the planet.
This once tiny little girl turns 13 today. A teenager. Happy Birthday Sweets.
Second, I’m not big on resolutions. My take is 365 days of trying to be a better person is way better than one day of promising to be one. Eat right, exercise more… blah blah, and back to old habits by February. Instead, I think about more of what I learned in the previous year and then how that pushes me forward. Not saying that I am successful just that I think about it all the time.
Yeah, I’m a mental work in progress.
On New Year’s Eve Eve, I was asked this simple, yet complex question by my good friend Katelin: What was the one single greatest moment, decision, event, experience, or memory you had in 2012?
Mine response was easy.
In 2012 I learned that I no longer have to take people’s shit. No matter the family, friend or colleague. That I now know I’m stronger than I gave myself credit. And I realized that all along I had the courage and conviction to step into traffic and forge my own path. Consequences be dammed.