FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Happy Birthday!

Written By: Scot Butwell - Jan• 14•13

bday cakes
Happy fifth Birthday, D!

I couldn’t help but think today how fast your first five years came and went so fast. It seems like only yesterday I carried you on my shoulder in walks through our old neighborhood with a cat named Blackie following us, and he once even went inside our house.

The you started walking–tentative at first about the feel of grass under your feet–and rarely slowed down. We used to  through thelandscaped sidewalks in the condo complex, getting lost in time while being outside in nature.

I thought about your mom and I flying to Tennessee to meet you. It was Valentine’s Day–“Do we know what we are doing?” your mom said–and you were wearing onezie pajamas that said, be mine, accross the front.

Time definitely had a pair of wings.

I’ve decided to record what you were like at age four. I believe this information will be helpful as you grow older and develop a self-identity. As Parker J. Palmer says in Let Your Life Speak about his granddaughter:

“She did not show up as raw material to be shaped into whatever image the world might want her to take.  She arrived with her  own gifted form, with the image of her own sacred soul.”

I agree with Palmer. You did not show up as raw material to be shaped by others, but had your own indigenous form. So I’ve recorded my observations of you to give you a picture of you what you were like, so you will know the deepest roots of your personality.

My hope is that it help you in the future to feel comfortable in your own skin, and to not be afraid of be who you are and to share the core of this sacred self with others in this world.

My definition of success is not making gobs of money or the pursuit of possessions, but it is learning to be yourself and to develop your gifts and talents. And so here’s a snapshot of what you were like at age four.

A few things you did this past year that I’m going to remember:

  • You memorized  all 50 states and their capitals and putting together a puzzle of the United States.
  • You learned to read fluently at the beginning of age four, including four and five-syllable words.
  • You spoke in Spanish to fast food workers in the McDonald’s and Del Taco drive through and at your favorite restaurant Denny’s.
  • You performed in your first school concert, singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” while mostly camouflaging yourself behind a taller classmate.
  • You discovered the joy of running the neighborhood on Halloween in your Super Grover costume with your cape flapping behind you. I ran beside you in a Clippers jersey.
  • You started pre-school with Ms. Tanya and Ms. Krista and learnec to sit still, a significant achievement for a  sensory-seeking boy.

Your favorite things at this moment:

• Your favorite movie is the Veggie Tales Jonah movie.
• Eating ice-cream and playing at McDonald’s Play Place.
• Putting together your Map of the United States.
• Reading books with The Pokey Little Puppy as your favorite.
• Your favorite websites are Starfall.com and Sesame Street.
• Your favorite places are the Toy Store and the Pet Store.
• Your favorite characters are Rudolph, Super Grover, Froghorn Leghorn and a collection of stuffed animals.
• Uour favorite tvshows are Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger, CaiYou.

A funny memorable moment:

You came out of the bathroom faster than usual one day, with the water on only a few seconds. When you came into the living room, your mom asked you about washing your hands.

“Did you use soap?”

“Yes,” you said, looking at her with a straight face.

Your mom smelled your hands. There was no soap smell. “D, you need to tell the truth…did you use soap?”

“I DON’T WANT TO TELL THE TRUTH, ” you said in a loud voice.

I’m going to miss the four-year-old D since I know you will be different a year from now with new memories, but I can’t wait to make new ones as you shed your old skin and emerge as a new person: the same but different.


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