Day Off. - An Ode to The Elusive, Older child

*Warning: Sappy Dad Post. Continue at your own risk.

After we did a little birthday shopping this morning, it was just the boys and I at home. Being here with them is pretty much my favorite thing in this world. Sometimes though, it is hard to believe that I am here and this is my life. I couldn't be happier, it's just crazy how life works out sometimes. Gavin turns 11 tomorrow. I am not sure what it is about this birthday in particular that makes me feel so nostalgic, but it does. I guess it's just a clear reminder that he is getting older and, before we know it, he won't be a boy anymore. Wait, that came out wrong. I don't think he is considering "the change" or anything, I'm just feeling older, and I am gonna miss these times. He is that much closer to be the tallest one in the house (which isn't saying much, but still significant as a parent). He is also that much closer to really caring about all things that teenagers care about; things like clothes, and girls (maybe), and money. Lots of money. I wish they would never get any older than 4-5. They would always think I am funny (mostly), and bribing them to do what I want only takes a couple of M&M's and not a hearty percentage of my weekly wage. But alas, this is my lot as a parent.

So yeah, Gavin. I can honestly say that he has been a huge part of making me the person that I am today.

I suppose a little background is in order.

2 Months from now will be Lindsay and I's 9th anniversary together. It will also mark the 9th anniversary of when I met Gav's. Blood says he is not mine. But from the day we met, I knew that wouldn't ever matter. I think he felt that way too, at least that's what I tell myself! When I say that I give him credit for making me the person I am today I mean it. I have no idea what either of them saw in me in the beginning. But for some strange reason they chose me.

I was pretty much the absolute opposite of what any sensible person would have wanted as a boyfriend, let alone a Dad. I didn't have a real job. I was touring in a band all the time. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. Not really the responsible type.

I will never forget the first time I met him. I went to pick up L at her Mom's house. She answered the door and there he was, sitting with Grandma. I still remember their faces, sizing me up, they looked almost the same. Which is not much of a coincidence, considering that I'm certain they were thinking the same thing. "Who the hell is this guy?" "His clothes are very wrinkly." "He really needs to shave." "I hope he brought chocolate". It probably would have scared the shit out of me, had they both not been so polite. Despite the fact that they both seemed less than impressed, I could tell that he was curious about me, so I ran with it, and never looked back.

That seems like so long ago now. We have grown so much as a family and as people since then. Admittedly, I was not the best dad in the beginning. I didn't really know how to take care of myself, let alone baby Einstein (did I ever mention that Gavin is brilliant? well, he is). But he stuck with me. Through his patience, kind nature, and his unrivaled inquisitiveness, I learned how to be a dad; and a better person.

I give him so much credit, because he didn't have to choose me. He and L have always been so close that I am all but certain his disapproval of me would have been a deal breaker. But he chose me. Stuck with me. Loves me. And I will always be thankful for that.

So, to the most curious, stubborn, brilliant, funny, self actualized, kind hearted and unbelievably empathetic child I have ever known. Thank you. You make me so proud.



Bird and Cleaver