I know how you feel about numbers. That’s how many days you’ve had so far. Impressive yes? I think so. 39 looks pretty darn good on you.
But you know what looks most amazing? How you look as a dad.
Do you know that I remember the exact moment that I realized, even before we were married, that you were going to be an incredible father? I know how you love it when I’m right, so for your birthday, my little extra gift to you? I nailed this one.
Jeff, on this birthday, I want you to know what a gift you are to Delaney and Cooper. You aren’t simply their Dad. You are their friend, their mentor, their teacher, their coach. I watch how they look up to you, how they seek your approval, how they light up when you enter a room and how the sun dims just a touch when you are away.
You are living your dream right now as a guy who gets to spend as much time as possible with his kids. In fact, you just might be a great big kid yourself. I don’t know another dad who lives to PLAY with his kids as much as you do. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter….it doesn’t matter the season, it doesn’t matter the game, you just want to be WITH them, you want to be teaching them, you want to be making them laugh.
I see so much of them in you. Delaney shares your sense of humor, your silly faces, your desire to be strong on the outside and soft on the inside. The ‘no hugs policy’? She gets that from you. Cooper’s love of baseball (and really all sports), his math-whiz mind, his go-go-go and inability to sit still, his playful nature – it is all you.
I don’t know anyone who makes their family the priority you always have.
As you enter your final year in your 30’s, know this – you are doing it right. You have two small people who, quite literally believe you can do anything.
And they are right.
You are their hero. Continue to find joy in every moment with them. Never forget all of the crazy-special-amazing we see in you.
For this year, I wish you nothing but the wisdom and peace that comes with approaching 40 (welcome!).