Shaun celebrated  his sixth birthday on Saturday. Sixth! Where does the time go, indeed. His slow crawl toward a decade on this earth is more of a sprint now. And still I’m in awe of his existence. I suppose the feeling never does pass. And it’s a good thing that it doesn’t, because a parent—a father—should forever be in awe of his child.

Things are falling into place. For the most part. This journey has been a learning experience. To say the least, anyway. What journey, isn’t? Though, as I listened to Izzy who’s no longer the Izzy of her childhood. And I listened to Ruben who’s different compared to the kid I meet all those years ago. And Justin who’s no longer the child who wandered the hallways of this house. I listened and smirked. Each has faced their adulthood in their own way. Each dealt a hand of cards and they played them well. Be it children or cancer.

I watched Jeanna enjoy herself. And, shit, I admire the fuck out of that girl. Love her to pieces. She’s the girl I chased for years. The girl I tricked into falling in love with me. The girl who gave me balanced for almost a decade. Wish I could say the favor was returned. But that time has come and gone. And it’s not good to dwell on what was, what might have been, and what’ll never be.

Dear Shaun:

Contemplation is great. Just don’t let it rule your life as the world passes you by. There was a time when I felt like you had to wait for that right moment to make your move, but that’s all romantic bullshit. If an opportunity presents itself in your life, you strike the first moment you’re given.

So here’s some advice from a man who’s waited. Find someone you love as much as I loved your mother on the day you were born. Find someone who loves you just as much. Find someone who offers without asking, and never wait for the question yourself.

Find someone who pushes you to better yourself, but loving you for the person you choose to be. Someone who supports you. And someone you support. Never stop inspiring each other.

And if, perchance, you find someone you’re willing to share your favorite type of cookie with, ask her out.

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