Today my son and best little buddy Hayden turns one year old. Wow. It's impossible to even put into words the emotion contained in that first sentence alone. I could not even begin to put into words the love I have for the Hayden-Bear...and the hatred I have for time. Time is a cruel, evil, relentless son of a gun. That's why I cherish every single second I get to spend with my family. Each moment with my wife and son are literally a gift from God. I could write for an audience who might read this and try to express my feelings for my son and the emotion contained in this day. But today, it's Hayden's day. While I appreciate all of you (or both of you) who might read this blog regularly, this one's for my best little buddy.
I love you, son. I cannot believe how fast time has passed in your first year of life. It seems like just yesterday I was carrying you from the delivery operating room to the nursery, whispering the words of Romans 5:8 in your ear as we walked down the hall. (I wanted the very first human words you heard to express to you how much God loves you and what He did to prove it.) I can remember letting you nap on my chest in that hospital room. I even caught a few naps right along with you! And I remember how super tiny you looked in the little football sweater we brought you home from the hospital in. (But you started growing really quick!) I can remember your first dr.'s appointment (we dressed you in your Longhorn gear!), your first bath, and changing lots of diapers. I remember the first time you smiled and the first time your momma left us home alone together (that's a funny story that's turned out to be a great sermon illustration about how much God loves us regardless of what we've done!) It seems like just a few days ago that we were teaching you how to eat "real food." We learned together because it was my very first time to feed a baby and your very first bites of real food! Buddy, we've had a lot of good times this first year. We've had a tradition of spending a ton of Friday mornings together eating breakfast, killing time at Marshall's or Best Buy or Academy, and letting momma rest while we had a "Dada Day." We got to celebrate your first Thanksgiving and Christmas and you even had snow on your very first Christmas. That doesn't happen very often in Texas, Hayden-Bear. We've played trucks, and ba-ba-baw (basketball) and read a ton of books (You love reading!). We've had a lot of fun at the neighborhood swing in the past couple months too! You really love that swing! And you love to do what Dada does. You copy what I do. You copy what I say. I've really got to watch myself these days, because I have a mini-me always in my shadow! But it is AWESOME. Hayden, I want you to know that I have ABSOLUTELY LOVED every single moment that God's blessed me with in this first year of your life. And I want you to know that God has LITERALLY changed my life in so many incredible ways because of you. God's taught me a ton of lessons about his love through your first year and your little life too. Hayden-Bear, I consider it the highest calling in my life, other than following Jesus, to be your father, your dada, your spiritual leader, your mentor, and to love your mother and model for you what a man who loves God and loves his family looks like. I hope that as you grow you see the love of Jesus in how I love you and how I treat you and how I live my life. Your mom and I know you are a gift from God, given to us to care for. Ultimately, you are His and we want you to always know how much we love you so that you will know how much GOD LOVES YOU. Hayden, there's no way I could put into words how much I love you buddy. But I hope one day when you can read this it will help you get a picture of just how crazy your Dada is about you. Happy Birthday Hayden-Bear! I love you so much, son!