Parenting is like flying a kite…you do an awful lot of running around

using every breath you have to get your children up off the ground.


And you never feel prouder…remember how you grinned

The first time you saw your children fly…

the first time they caught the wind?


For you knew you’d helped them off the ground…

you helped them find their wings

and you knew, though they were up there flying,

you still controlled the string.


And when you realized they were good fliers.

when you finally had no doubt

Slowly…gently…lovingly…you let more and more string out.


And you kept letting string out…and they flew so high in the air

that you could barely see them…but you could feel they were there.


Until the day you understood just how high they’d flown

so you cut the string and smiled as you watched them fly off on their own.


Hoping that…wherever they go…in whatever they may do

every now and the the winds…will carry them back to you.


Hoping they know whatever joys or heartaches their life up there will bring

you will always be down here…

and you will always have more string.


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When I was young I didn’t quite understand my shoulders,

“Shoulders!” I would scoff. 

“Why they’re just here to help hold up my head

and to keep my shirts from falling off”.


It wasn’t until I became a parent…until I became a Dad

that I finally came to realize the importance my shoulders had.


Soon after that blessed day…it really didn’t take long

to realize why my shoulders were there…

and why they needed to be strong.


When my children were so very young

when their life still so brand new

my shoulders were there for them to ride on

and see life from a different point of view.


And when they grew a little older…as their life unfurled

my shoulders were there for them to stand on…

as they stepped into the world.


Along the way I learned a funny thing about my shoulders 

for…near as I can tell

not only do they have to be strong…

but they need to be soft as well.


Strong so my children can lean on them 

when their life is filled with dread

And soft, when they need comfort, 

for a place to lay their head.


Yes, everyday when I look in the mirror 

I have a million reasons to be elated

not the least of which is knowing 

why my shoulders were created.

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When he was but a child his parents often smiled

when he wanted them to read him Peter Pan.

And when they read, “the end." he’d say, “Please, read it all again.”

“This time a little slower if you can.”


So they’d read it all again…and again and again and again

for that is what mothers and fathers do

because if it is loved by their son…and he is having fun

they find…they love it too.


When she was a but child her parents often smiled

when she wanted to climb their tallest tree.

She would climb up and down and then… say, “I want to climb again

there is still so much up there I want to see”.


So they’d watch her climb again…and again and again and again

for that is what mothers and fathers do

because if it is loved by their daughter…when they stand under that tree and spot her

they find…they love it too.


But sons and daughters grow…as all parents know

for life is nothing if not fleet.

The woman and the man move on from climbing trees and Peter Pan

and keeping up with what they love’s no easy feat.


So they watch and often worry as life seems to scurry

trying to love what they love too.

Their children may no longer heed them 

but they will be there if they need them

for that is what loving parents do.


And though they’re sad life moves so fast…from the present to the past

there is one thing that keeps parents happy too…

As they ride life’s ebb and flow…they are overjoyed to know

the things their children love may change

but not the who.


And there will come a day…when they are old and grey…

(for this is exactly what parents do)

A day they’ll look back when they can…

and remember climbing trees and Peter Pan


and they’ll remember how they loved them too…

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Why is it parents love to stand

quietly…without making a peep

if only for a moment

and watch their children sleep?


Could it be they love to see

in that moment soft and mild

the beauty of pure innocence

the angel in the child?


Could it be in that moment

with no reason to worry, to fret, to call them 

they are praying for their children’s happiness

and that no harm shall befall them?


That they just want their children to know

as they float on slumber’s stream

they will be there in the day to protect their hopes


and at night…to guard their dreams.

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After the birth of his first child a son asked his father,

“How much influence will I have in my son’s life 

and how far will my influence extend?”

The father looked at his son and smiled…

“Well son, that depends.” 


“Will your children grow up to be kind and loving?”

“Will they be people you are proud of?”

That depends on if you’re teaching them 

how to be kind, 

how to be gentle… 

how to love.” 


“Will they grow up with prejudices?”

 “Will hate and bigotry they pursue?”

“That depends on while they’re growing up 

if they see hate or acceptance in you.”


“Will they grow up unselfish and generous, 

or will they in themselves be immersed?”

“That depends of if your teaching them 

to put themselves or others first.”


“Will they grow up greedy and miserly…

will they take what isn’t theirs?”

“That depends on if you’re teaching them 

not only how to accumulate 

but how to share?”


“Will your children grow up happy 

or will they end up sad and blue?”

His dad looked him in his eyes and said, 

“Son, that depends on you.”


He is proud of the adults his children grew up to be

and when they ask him how far their influence will extend 

he’ll be ready with his answer


he will tell them…that depends.

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When our first child is born

we celebrate the day

at that moment we don’t care

if they are bi or straight or gay


We only care they are alive…

have all their body parts...

that they are breathing on their own…

and come with healthy hearts.


And each time we are blessed with a child

we celebrate that day

still not caring at that moment

if they are bi

or straight

or gay.


We only care that they are close to us…

that in their lives we play a part

that they all have gentleness in their souls…

and kindness in their hearts


And so parents of the world I ask this question: 

As we think back to our initial vow…

If we didn’t care when they were born…


Why should we care now?

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I am your baby…just born yesterday…I have all my fingers…all of my toes

and even though I can’t talk yet…here are 10 things I’d like you to know.


You will receive  a lot of good and bad advice…

you won’t always be able to tell them apart

so the first thing I have to tell you….

is to trust yourself and follow your heart 


Please…never call me stupid or I might end up feeling that way.

protect me….keep me safe and warm…life will be more appealing that way


And don’t be alarmed if I get hurt…when I bruise…be there to soothe and numb it…

remember your job is to help me learn about life…

not to keep me protected from it


Mistakes are just a part of who I am…and in my life they will be interspersed

So if you want me to believe in myself…

you must believe in me first.


I will be a child for a while…so be forgiving and patient with me

even the times when I make it difficult for you to be the parents you imagined you’d to be.


Finally, remember to love me no matter what… it’s the last thing I need you to know

your love is something I always will need…something I’ll never outgrow.


So there you have it…10 things you should know…

at least I think that’s the right amount…

after all I was only born yesterday…

I can’t talk 


how can you expect me to count!

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When an older couple was asked: What’s the happiest part or raising a family?

This was their reply:

The happiest part of raising a family is watching how they grow and change as time goes by.


Then they looked at one another, smiled and happily exclaimed:

And If you want to know the saddest part of raising a family…

our answer is the same.




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When your children are born you have your dreams for them 

but you never really know

what direction they will take…

where their life will go.


As they grow up those dreams you had…

you quietly erase them

as you allow the dreams they have…

to gradually replace them.


And your dream for them becomes more universal

you care less if they are wealthy…

you want them to be loving and generous

to be happy, kind and healthy.


I never dreamed our son would do what I did

never wanted him to be like me…

but I am proud of the life he’s chosen

and the person he came to be…


Case in point…he sent us a picture 

only a day ago

of him atop an electric scooter 

in San Antonio.


Now, I never dreamed he’d ride an electric scooter

never dreamed he’d be in that place…

but often I have dreamed

about that smile on his face…


Sure he's not living my initial dream…

how many children do?

but knowing he is living his…


has made my dream come true.

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