Josh Strickland: For My Son, For My Health
Eight years ago today, at 2:37pm, at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, my only son was born.
Today, he'll celebrate at school with his friends with special penguin-themed treats made by his mom, my wife. He loves penguins. They've been his favorite ever since we first visited Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg in 2012. He begged to open a birthday present early, so we let him open one last night. It was a penguin blanket.
Brennan reminds me of myself when I was his age. I hope that he looks back at his childhood with as fond memories as I look back at my own, when my brothers and I played "run & jump" with my dad, running full-speed through the house and jumping onto his pillow-covered body. Or, when he'd take us to the school, where he worked as the janitor, to play floor hockey or race remote-controlled cars because there was so much room on the gym floor.
I enjoy a lot of things. But there's not a thing more enjoyable to me than knowing my children are truly happy and that I am part of that. The look that I hope my kids see on my face is the look I remember seeing on my dad's face when we'd play. Pure joy.
Since my dad passed away last year, every special moment with my kids is even more poignant than before.
Like most parents, we're constantly on the run and constantly trying to stretch dollars. It's easy to stress, become burdened and take our focus off the things that really matter.
Today I'll be hanging out with my eight year old and acting like I'm eight years old.