I imagine that this will be the first of many notes that I will place here. It is my hope that one day when I am older, and slightly crankier, that L.A. will read these and get something from them. I'm certain at times that I may contradict myself as I go along - but I think that is part of growing, you learn that sometimes what you thought you knew wasn't necessarily the best thing (not that it was a bad thing to begin with perhaps) but that you evolved into something new and more luminous.
I am, for the most part, a list maker. I have scribbles of lists on post it notes everywhere I tend to go. At home. At work. Sometimes in the car. From groceries, to ideas - some grow legs or wings, some get left behind, forgotten. Goals. Appointments. But sometimes I leave snippets of notes for things I'm thankful for. When these lists are made I try and be specific. It's too easy to do the umbrella gratitude:
"I'm thankful for my car, my house... my life."
"I'm thankful for my family, my wife, my son, my dogs."
I want to attempt to be specific, it's like saying, "I love you." You can say "I love you" so many times to the people you love and in time it can become like a breath mint. It tastes sweet for a time and then it fades, which is okay because you have a whole pack in your pocket. I fear that the phrase can lose its value. So, when I write my lists I write things like, "Laughter, that sexy way she stands at the sink when getting ready for bed, that little strand of hair that seems to find its way down her face when her hair is pulled back." Trivial things maybe to her but Snap into a Slim Jim awesome for me. I mentally hold onto these things when I say, "I love you" because it holds value, I'm conscious in the moment that I am actively feeling those things when I say the phrase. I want to perpetually and actively love my wife and family on a daily basis even when we disagree because at the end of the day when the lights go out I want to know that the love I have in my heart is dancing and not coasting.
These past few months have been exciting times in my son's life - full of discovery and wonder. He just recently found his feet and has discovered how to pull his socks off. He's so intent on every little thing that he does and smiles so big constantly. Even at 3 in the morning when we're so exhausted, he's there, smiling. Happy that we're giving him food and making goo goo noises.
It is my hope that he approaches his life with that same level of discovery and wonder. I hope that I can be the father he deserves. I hope that he can be actively thankful for his life and the things in it early in his life. I hope that when he hears "I love you." from his mom and dad, he can sense the long list of memories behind it. We mean every word.