My emotions are always close to the surface on Father's Day. Today especially.
You see, ten years ago today I became the father of a son.
I have two girls, one older and one younger than Matthew. I love them with all my heart. Being the father of daughters is so exquisite an experience. They are beauty and grace. They are elegance and light. They are the crown jewels of my life.
Being the father of a son is different.
Having a son is chance to pass on things that you cannot pass on to your daughters. Your name. It's a chance to mold a new man. A chance to try and refine the things you wish you had done better. To teach nobility and honor. A chance to learn, from his perspective, what it truly means to be a man.
Ten years ago this evening was one of the most precious days of my life. It was the day I met you. You scared us by coming into the world a little too early, and with a few too many complications.
That day was the first time I had cried since my own father had died, six months earlier. I cried when I thought of passing my name on to you, as my father had passed his on to me. I felt my dad there, briefly, an unbroken line of the generations.
You were a delightful baby, so easy going, so uncomplicated. Your personality was manifest, even at that early date.
Matthew, the past ten years of watching you grow, from a child to a young man have been so rewarding for me. You are a wonderful young man. You are an amazing son.
You are noble.
You are kind.
You are unselfish and gracious.
You are wonderful friend.
You are an incredible brother.
You are funny.
You are Christlike.
You are forgiving of your father's many failings.
I am so proud to be your father. No son means more to a father than you do to me.
Matthew Christopher Thornblad: you bear my name, and you have never dishonored it. You make me want to be a better man.
When I grow up, I want to be just like you!
I love you Matt, happy birthday!
I do love all of my kids, here's proof: