Don’t be afraid of your reflection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I took this picture yesterday while I was sitting on the front porch watching you kids play. I was thinking about other things, but casually watching you play – making sure you stayed out of the road and such.

Things wash over me sometimes as a parent. They paralyze me with wonder and realization. This was one of those moments.

Kate, you’ve been watching your big sister and her friends climb this tree every day. There’s a limb just out of your reach that the big kids use to pull themselves up. You looked up for a  few seconds and I could tell you were considering both how to get up there and what it might be like once you did. You jumped for it. But fell far short of grasping the limb. Your bare feet back on the grass.

What happened next is what matters. You pulled your wagon under the branch, steadied yourself as the wagon rocked a little and carefully reached again for the branch. It was still just beyond your reach. You tried a few more times – adding a little jump to your effort again, but still without success. Satisfied with having tried you ran off to find Max. On to the next adventure, but I know you’ll be back to that branch this afternoon.

Having watched this unfold, I thought about  my life. The life of our family really. We’re reaching for that branch. Maybe more now than ever before.

I was sitting there thinking about how hard trying is. And how simple it is to give up. But it’s not easy to give up. So I’m reaching.

This morning it occurred to me that my actions, for better or worse, are reflected in you kids. One day you’ll do what you saw me do. I hope as you’re reading this now that I made the right decisions, took the right risks, and reached for branches out of reach every day.

“Don’t be afraid of your reflection. It’s not only you you’re looking at now.” – Jack Johnson

Kate, one day soon you’ll reach that branch and climb high with your sister. Our street will look different from up there and you’ll start to wonder what the next street over looks like.

I recorded this little video for you kids after I watched you reaching for the branch, Kate. I hope you don’t mind the lines in my face. At first I didn’t want to post any video messages here – I wasn’t happy with my face and to be honest it feels a little self indulgent. But after listening to Jack Johnson’s lyric again I decided you might like it someday.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T. S. Eliot

Je t’aime,




Tues: Swam 2000

Wed: Biked 1:00

A few more pics from yesterday, just for fun:

Izzy, you had another swim meet yesterday. Nana and Papaw came to watch. Your favorite event is now the 100 IM. Our little endurance athlete!

A nice dad from the other team heard that we have a superstar named Izzy on our team. He owns a production company by that name, so he brought you this hat. How nice!

* Digital/3D animation on the video was created by my homeboy Chris Blaylock. Hire him for freelance projects!