Stories

The Harvest is Plentiful
Heavenly Glory

Highest Success

I became a father later than most.

I wasn’t ready when I was a younger man. At 21. At 31. Lord knows. My son came into the world at the right time. After I had answered some questions. After I had lived a young man’s life.

He came into the world, my world, at the exact time I was ready to be a dad.

I’ve had the incredible gift of being able to raise my son. To be involved in my son’s first two years. To be present in his presence. It’s a reaction, I know, to being raised by two parents who loved me beyond measure, but who had to work all day. It’s a reaction, I know, to having had to figure things out on my own. It’s a reaction, I know, on the kind of father I want to be.

Image Mirror

“Oh boy, is he a mini-version of you!”

I hear that a lot. I sort of love it. Although I see my wife in his features, in his complexion, I love that others can see me, too. It’s the highest compliment for the dad of a little dynamo who runs around with gerbil cheeks and mischievous eyes. A bit of karmic justice, a reality check, when his temper gets the best of him, when he squeals when he doesn’t get his way, when he won’t do as told.

Where does he get that from?

I have no idea.

The Heart of the Matter

It’s 2017. Seventeen years after the second millennium. The time….Where? How?

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is now. And the nows that follow.

I see the genius in life. How it’s constantly renewing itself. Improving upon past models. How it knows when you’re ready for some things and not others. And how it’ll sometimes push upon you these things prematurely and how other times it’ll just wait.

Best Late Than Never

After a few hours of deep work, I hear the familiar jingle of keys and door opening. Then that sudden burst of energy, alive and fully charged, hits me.

I see my son. Smell him. Fresh from a play date with his mom at the park. His sweat scents his hair, his skin. I take deep breaths. I did and do inhale. I love him more everyday, if such things are possible.

He leaps into my lap and I ask him:

“Did you have fun?”

“Fuuuuuuuun?” He echoes.

“Mmhmm. Did you have fun with umma?”

“Ummmmaaaa?”

I can feel his heartbeats thumping in my forearms, my hands cupping his. I examine them. They seem larger, but still tiny. Both at once. He can cup things so much better than I could. A much firmer grip, he has. A better design, this one is.

He puts his head on me. Content to let me dote. I soak it all in. As a magnet magnetizes, I feel young again by being near him. He improves me. If youth is wasted on the young, consider me drunk.

This is the best life, even if, maybe because, it came later than most.

Nourish

It’s that time of year again. Time to toast the end of a year and the beginning of a new day.

Our family’s word for the coming year is simple:

Nourish.

Quick Fixes and Long Heals

Too often our family races to its next meal. We are busy doing other things and suddenly realize we are hungry. Too many times, we go for the quick fix. The nearest drive-thru, the easiest takeout, the fastest delivery.

But not this coming year.

Instead of asking “What’s the quickest, easiest, nearest meal?” we are going to ask a better question:

What will nourish us?

Feed Thyself

It’s a profound distinction. Simple, yes, but already life-changing. Every time we are hungry, we ask the nourishing question and suddenly a burger and fries sound less appetizing. Suddenly, the crooked frame is righted.

I’ve said before that it’s the questions you ask that make all the difference in your life. Particularly so in the questions you ask of yourself.

What will nourish you in the coming year? What will provide you with the nutrients you need to fuel your body, mind, and spirit?

I hope you nourish yourselves in 2017 and beyond. And that hope goes way further than the things you eat and drink.

Happy New Year.

AC

Thankful

Thoughts are things.

Tangible. As in, you can touch ’em.

Because they are real.

What are you thinking about?

Sometimes, I’m in the future.

In my head.

10, 20 months. 10, 20 years.

My son and wife are there to snap me out of it, to bring me back here. To right now. But I play in the future.

How I’ll teach my son to swing a bat and throw a ball and try juuuuuust hard enough (but not too much) to see if he’ll love my childhood, our nation’s, pastime.

How I’ll finish my book and see it on a bookshelf and cringe / smile at the dust jacket photo.

How I’ll grow grayer. And softer. And harder.

I hear my son and wife laughing across the hall.

Which brings me back to today.

Amino Acid Trips

The stuff that puts you to sleep. In the turkey. It’s tryptophan. Right? That’s what puts you to sleep? It’s not the 3,000 calories you put down in 20 minutes. Or the heat kicking on nice and toasty. Or you sitting on a couch, watching the Lions, the noise of the game crowded out by the sounds of family being familial.

Nah.

November is a great month. December, a long one.

From Thanksgiving to New Years, we are all given a nice holiday sandwich. And the meat is in the memories of years gone by.

There’s so much to be thankful for.

It may not appear that way if you read or watch the news. Or social media.

*shudder*

But there’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond your social media tryptophan, and find the true causes.

I hope you think on that. Because it’s real.

Drop the “The”

Colette’s watching the new Gilmore Girls special on Netflix. A year in the life.

It’s pieced into four episodes. Each taking a season in. A snapshot of. Back on the air after eight years.

Eight years!

That’s two runs at college. Almost three times through law school. Multiply it twice and you get a teenager who can drive. You can even spend eight lakefront storm winters in west Michigan…

A lot can happen. A lot does happen. In eight years.

While I spend a lot of time in the future, I know what’s past is prologue, and my magnetic north sometimes switches poles. For a season. And I reflect.

Eight years ago, I was headed back to Michigan. A California lawyer. An American dreamer.

Headed back home to God knows what searching for something, anything, to be thankful for.

I know what that is now.

To be thankful for being able to control my own mind. My attitude. My destiny. To chase dreams.

Somewhere, along these past eight years, I made a life.

My life.

I met my wife. Together, we created. We created a home. We created art. We created a child. We created a family. We daydreamed. We night dreamed. We road tripped. We emailed famous people and had lunch with them.

Just like that.

We even call some of them friends.

Hello, friends.

It’s weird, right?

Life.

In eight year increments. Or just in four seasons.

But I’m so thankful for it.

Everyday I’m Shuffling

I keep the door to my home office open, most of the time.

Sometimes, I get lucky and get a special visitor. I can usually hear him before I see him.

My son, running from down the hallway. I can hear his feet. Shuffling closer. Louder.

And I stare at the door. My eyes focused on the area about three feet(!) off the floor.

Anticipating, with glee, those eyes that are about to flash mischief. That face that’s about to beam rainbows. Appearing, like an angel, from the heavens above.

I am completely present in that moment. Waiting for him.

The world, the entire globe, stands still in those seconds.

And I find myself fully engaged. In euphoric gratitude.

Thankful beyond words. Beyond words.

Thank you.

For this beautiful dream.