Boys, you’re six today and that’s one-third-of-the-way-to adulthood. You should know a few things about life and love and God by now. At least I hope you do. We’ve tried. And failed some. We’ve succeeded some, too. These parents you got, your Dad and me? We’re human and not-perfect and often-messing-up. But we love you. We hope you know that for your whole lives. You are loved regardless of what you do/say/think. Ours is far from a perfect love. But it is powerful. You can’t understand that now. But some day you will. Some day, I just know it, you will. Boys, I want to tell you something. Well, I want to tell you lots of somethings. But we’ll just pick one today. There will come a day when you feel defeated. You’ll want to give up. You’ll feel worthless and empty and you will despair. I can’t keep you from that. You’ll find that there is something big that you can’t do. Something you wish you could fix or achieve or have. It’s disappointing. Disheartening. Upsetting. I know. Your Dad and I know this fact-of-life well. Sons, that thing you can’t do will teach you more than all the things that come easy. You’ll receive more from it than anything you’re given. That thing you can’t do? It will feel like a curse to you. A thorn in your side. I know it. I’ve had more than a few things I couldn’t do. I don’t ascribe to the idea that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Because…well…it’s not always true. And some of those mind set desires aren’t good for you or others. That thing you can’t do, don’t let it steal your joy. Don’t allow it to make you hard or bitter or envious. Instead, look at all the things you can do. Allow those things to feed your joy. Let them make you thankful and generous and loving. Your Dad and I love you. I know we say it all the time. That’s because we know it all the time. We want you to as well. You guys were a great surprise. And you keep shocking us and putting wide grins on our faces. We know God loves you more than we do. And that His smile is even bigger than ours. Keep opening doors for the girls (not because they can’t, but because they shouldn’t have to). Always say “please and thank you”. Don’t lose the wonder in those big blue eyes. And always, always know that we love you. We’re good listeners. We will always open our arms to you. Happy Birthday.