Old Dogs And Ana’s Tricks

Old Dogs And Ana’s Tricks

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I blame Ana for blessing me with three children this late in my life. Some people thought she was off her rocker to even consider it, and by some people I mean me. I resisted with logic, frustration, deep concern, and tantrums but nothing worked. She continued to talk softly, touch gently, and plow on with her plans. I thought she didn’t care that I would never see retirement or that I would be arguing with teenagers in my 70’s. I didn’t think I had the energy to raise children and that I would end up being a disappointment. I was wrong.

Despite a face full of grey hair and being closer to my first pension check than I ever imagined I would be, I have never felt better and happier or been more productive. I know more, do more, and have learned to serve others ahead of meeting my own needs, so that means I am a far better dad at 62 than I was when I was younger. I am left to admit she was right, and that means I was wrong. A bitter-sweet pill and hard to swallow but one that certainly needs swallowing. I humbly stand corrected Ana Maria. There you go.

God was directing her path while I was just listening to the lie that I needed to slow down and do less in my “golden years”. As I sit here getting my money’s worth out of this keyboard, I’m wondering why I would want to slow down. I eat well, I train consistently, I am in the best shape of my life right now with zero health issues. I will never slow down, kids or no kids. What fool would slow down near the end of the race? Use better tactics, yes. Pace yourself, of course. Work smarter not harder, absolutely. But when you are at the point where you have more experience than ever before, more wisdom, more perspective, less stress, more stability, more knowledge about what you want from life and, mostly, what is truly important; why would you want to hang up the gloves and stare at the TV? It’s like going to school your whole life, amassing a stack of degrees, then never blessing the world with all you have learned.

I look at my marriage, and my kids, and it would be a tragedy if Ana and I had not invested all we have into these precious little souls. We know the outcome of good and bad decisions. We know firsthand the value of good people in our life, and the destructive ripple effect of people that are not. And most of all, we know God is in control and our purpose here is to serve him, not for him to serve us. With all that and some cash in their back pockets they have a chance to go further than we ever did and do it all with the peace that comes from letting God take the wheel.

And as I write this, Cole is crying because he wants to sit where Cadence is sitting and she is pretending, regardless his overwhelming presence, that he doesn’t exist while Emma is in her favorite rainbow colored Tutu roping the kitchen chairs with the new Lasoo. She is annoyed because Ana wants her to wear shorts under her tutu and not panties while Emma wants to wear panties “yike a big gore”.

That’s this minute. The next will also lack any logic and will equally abound in passion, tragic injustice and volume. It’s a parents equivalent to soothing ocean surf, tropical showers and other nature sounds meant to carry us to our happy place in that It’s white noise and it’s constant. Broken bones and sheer terror sound much differently and those are the sounds you get concerned about. We wouldn’t trade a second of it for all the rice in China.

I will close by saying that every morning I wake, I thank God for my wife, for my kids, and for the day and it’s heartfelt. Then I lay there and smile warmly as I think of them, each so different, each so wonderful, and each of them mine.

And I profoundly thank God for placing the desire to have children on Ana’s heart, and her not listening to me when I said no five years ago.

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