Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Man of Many Dreams

When old dreams die, 
New ones come to take their place.
God pity a one-dream man.
- Robert H. Goddard, Ph.D.

As good a man as I have ever known celebrates his birthday today.  My son, Rob, is thirty-one.  One night a couple of weeks ago I was looking through boxes of photographs that Margaret has stored on a closet shelf, looking for a particular picture.  While the purpose of my search eluded me, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of photographs spanning a wide swath of time.  Among the pictures I saw was one I took of Margaret, Suzanne, and Rob standing on the boardwalk just outside of the Jenkinson's Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach.  It is a photograph that is at least twenty-five years old.  Margaret was not yet thirty.  Suzanne was perhaps seven and Rob was not more than six. 

Being a parent is sometimes tricky business.  If you are not careful, you turn around and your child has transformed from a moppet to an adult in an eye-blink.  You spend your time perusing old photographs desperately trying to make sense of where it is the time went.  And then you stop.  You realize that the time went where time always goes.  It went into the process of shaping and molding your six-year-old boy into a thirty-one-year-old man.  A man with his own family.  A man with his own responsibilities.  A man with his own dreams. A man with his own life. 

And you smile.  You smile because you realize that for whatever failings and shortcomings you brought to bear into his day-to-day, which could have short-circuited his chance at realizing his dreams and making his life, he is nothing short of extraordinary.  

He lives a life worthy of celebration. 

Today, it shall be celebrated.  

And, again, you smile...


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