Gifts

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.

~ Peyton Conway March

HAPPINESS

Every day. Not every minute, mind you, for we all have our moments. But I wander into your room late at night, after you’ve drifted off to some Celtic-soundtrack-for-sleeping CD, and I watch you breathe. I sit down beside you and just rest my hand on your shoulder. You stir, maybe mumble, but seldom wake. You don’t see me cry. Gently some nights. Occasionally, tremors push to the surface, erupting from that place where worries and doubts fester. Then slowly, the sediment of time dissipates in an alluvion of joy. You give me that. The good and the bad and the stream in which they flow. Never stagnant. Always rushing.

FREEDOM

To make mistakes. To face these ups and downs, jackknives and fishtails, and learn to right myself. I stall more than most. Hit the ditches and blow out the tires. And you glance back at me without slowing down, smile a mischievous yet sincere smile, continue to put one foot in front of the other, and invite me to keep up. I stagger out of the gutter and join you. You let me do that, even when most would leave me behind.

PEACE OF MIND

You shine. I see you wherever you are. Rest knowing that you think. That you consider others precious, and yourself able to overcome. Like so many before you, behind me, you are gentle and kind, yet willing to be nothing less that what you desire to be. You ask for nothing in return except respect and trust. And it is freely given because you’ve earned it.

I can’t see past you, the bumps and detours and freak shows that litter the road ahead. They matter so little, now or then. For your footing is sure, each step light yet determined. It’s a magnificent dance to behold . . .

Happy 16th birthday, son. And thanks for the gifts . . .