My Resolution for 2009…

January 11, 2009
I decided to break free of convention and not dedicate myself to any self-improvement resolutions for the New Year.

In lieu of reinventing “The Shane”, I’ve decided to try a different approach to the New Year and simply reflect on what makes life worth living. I think everyone should do this on occasion and maybe that occasion should coincide with the beginning of a new year- sort of charge up and get your head straight right from the start. So here are some moments that I plan to draw from in 2009 to keep me moving down the road to happiness.

Connie is at the heart of our family happiness- without her none of the other moments that I have to draw strength from would have ever occurred. So my wife earns the top spot in my New Year’s list of things to remember.

Watching the birth of my boys. I was there for both and I actively participated in the process. My advice to any expectant father is to not let this opportunity slip out of your grasp- be involved.

Giving Mack and Cayden their first bath after their birth. Holding their tiny forms in my hand and washing the birth from their bodies reassured me that I had the right stuff to be a Dad.

The 4thof July 2003, two days after returning from Iraq, I took Mack to the fireworks display at Camp Lejeune. He ended up wetting his pants which was really uncommon for him at that age. But after thinking about it, he was probably afraid that if he went to the bathroom I wouldn’t be there when he returned. I held him, wet pants an all, until the fireworks ended. I guess I was afraid to let him go as well.

Teaching Cayden to ride a big boy bike. I put him on. I gave him a push. He rode away laughing. That was that- mission complete.

The first time Mack caught a baseball- not an under hand toss aimed for his glove, but an intentionally thrown hard ball that he had to chase and capture using a degree of coordination.

Invitations to snuggle with Cayden at bed time. Cayden likes to stroke the back of my neck when we lay together. It’s the most loving gesture that I have ever experienced and it almost always ensures that I fall asleep before he does.

Being at the bus stop when the boys get home from school and getting to experience first hand the unabashed excitement that little boys feel when they discover that home is right where they left it.

Mack’s omelets and Cayden’s cereal crumbs.

Summer mornings watching my boy’s catch fish only slightly larger than the bait used to catch them.

Holding hands and walking 4-abreast with the members of my family.

The day my boys reached for me first to comfort them when they got a boo-boo. No offense honey, Mom will always be number one in the comforting department, but sure is nice that I can come in a close second.

The feeling of relief when your baby’s fever breaks at 2 in the morning and you no longer have to worry about taking them to the emergency room.

Sleeping with my boys when they were scared or sick so that if they woke up in the middle of the night they would know they‘re not alone.

Christmas mornings- because Santa still visits our home.

School pageants, not because my boys are great singers or thespians, but for the wacky, unscripted antics they perform to entertain our friends and neighbors.

Stick figure drawings, Playdoh sculptures, and creations made from a metric ton of glitter glue.

The way my boys interact with each other when they believe no one is listening- I think they actually like each other.

Movie night when Connie and I get the pleasure of snuggling with both dudes on the same couch cushion- because neither of them can decide which parent to choose.

Evening wrestling matches- except for the fact that I always have to play the villain, for once I would love to be the good guy.

Teaching the guys how to make the perfect paper airplane and then waking up the next morning to find every paper product in the house had been turned into a vehicle for flight.

Free cookies at the local grocery store. This is such a common practice that the folks in the bakery know the guys by name and which cookies from the “free tray” they favor.

Shaving with the guys on Sunday mornings- though neither of them has any restraint on the use of after shave or shaving cream.

Listening to the boy’s band (The Land Brothers) rehearse- it’s a sound only a parent could endure.

Cayden’s little boy voice. Mack lost his at the tender age of 5- somehow Cayden has managed to maintain.

Making Cayden spit out his milk at the dinner table by giving him a goofy look when Connie’s not paying attention.

The grocery store cereal aisle.

Mack’s consideration for his friends’ feelings. The kid is a diplomat- not for personal gain, but because he cares about others.

Cayden’s sense of humor. The kid should go on the road; he would make a fortune.

Covering the kids up and touching them one last time before Connie and I head to bed.

This list is only a start. I could sit here all day and write down every thing the boys have given me over the past eight years- and maybe I should. Just the few minutes I have spent has reminded me of things that I haven’t thought about in years and other things that are so common that I don’t even recognize their significance. Ponder this, if you don’t stop and think about the little things that happen in your family and commit them to memory you’ll lose them forever- and that would be tragic.

Maybe for 2009, I’ll write down one thing per day that defines the experience of being a father to Mack and Cayden. What do you know, I just figured out a worthwhile New Year’s resolution.

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Teri and the cats of Furrydance posted the following on January 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm.

Hi,

I found your blog by way of In Good Shape and while I have never been a parent except to my cats, I think I am a good auntie and just wanted you know know that your blog, your candor, your humor, your outlook on life and your way with words make me smile and think “I want to be more like you” in my outlook on life and love and things in general. Thank you for a wonderful blog and look at your lovely family.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance

admin posted the following on January 11, 2009 at 7:01 pm.

Teri, Holy Cow! Thanks so much for the compliment. I’m really pleased that you’re getting something out of my blog. Sounds like you may have cracked the code on some of the hidden “Moral of the Story” stuff that I hide in my posts. Either way, glad you enjoy it and come back often, I enjoy the fact that I have a few readers to entertain. shane

Terrilyn posted the following on January 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm.

Beautiful words and a very admirable goal. One that I hope to maintain a bit in my own life though the coming year. Connie is a lucky lady to have such a caring and thoughtful husband at her side.

Susan posted the following on January 12, 2009 at 1:09 am.

You are one great dad, you know that? I love this post. You should print it off and frame it. Yep, your boys and your wife are blessed to have you in their lives. But, I can see, Shane, that you are blessed to have them as well. 2009 is going to be great – for all of you.

Susan
http://www.raisin-toast.com

Audrey posted the following on January 18, 2009 at 1:39 am.

This post brings me to tears. Well put.


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