#dadventures - Episode One: "To Build a Fire ...with a Toddler"
Happy Birthday, #BeccaRiley!
I made a video to remember one of my favorite times with you in the last year. I'm hoping it's the kind of thing you look back on when you're a bit older. Mom and I love adventuring with you!
#dadventures - Episode 1: To Build a Fire ...with a Toddler:
The title of this vid is a play on my favorite Jack London story, "To Build a Fire." I found a free copy of the great Yukon gold rush era short story on the American English site of the US Department of State. (The video has a happier ending than the story.)
Filmed on a cold September day at the McCall Cabin at 8,500 feet in the Southern Sangre De Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.
You are now two years old.
Over this past year, I've watched you learn things like counting all the way to 12 (sometimes in order), naming colors and shapes, and speaking in multiple word sentences. You are almost definitely destined to be a rock climbing prodigy, and your footwork skills and fearlessness have helped you become an accomplished escape artist and earn a number of bumps and bruises.
The times we spend adventuring and enjoying God's creation are so special to me. From the cabin in the New Mexico to our home at Forest Glen Springs, I think the outdoors is a wonderful place for anyone to grow up. I'm glad to take you on some many #dadventures.
You've become your own tiny person, with a unique personality and sense of humor. You crack me up. This has been a hard year for our family with so many changes, and you have been a constant source of joy and light in heavy times. And you are capable of setting your mind on something and taking a stand. I pray that in time you will learn to take a stand on the things that are true and good for others. You are such a strong-willed and independent, but also loving and nurturing little girl. You are sweet to share with others (Daddy more than anyone else) and welcoming to new faces. You are cute and fun, and EVERYBODY who meets you knows it. You light up any room you're in. Your hugs are undeniably, unequivocally, the best ever.
I've learned the delight of stopping whatever I'm doing most evenings to read you a few books, sing a few songs, and pray for you. My prayers are always the same. Thankfulness at what you experienced in the day & what God is doing in our family, asking God to help you sleep all night with good dreams so you've refreshed to start the next, and looking forward to two things: the incredible woman you will become and the moment your heart accepts His call to trust Him even more than you trust me now.
I think all the time of the moment that you changed my life. Even in the hours before you were born, I was wasn't sure how good of a daddy I would be, and I definitely had no idea what to do with a little girl. But then they handed you to me. You laid on my chest and lifted your head to look up into my eyes, and I was hit with this overwhelming understanding for the first time ever of how much God must have loved His son Jesus and all his children throughout the world. It hit me that you are a gift from Him and only mine (and Mommy's) for a time. In fact, the first thought in my head after that was that someday you'll probably marry someone, and then I will have to walk you down the aisle and cry the whole way.
I know it's weird to think about that stuff when you're only two years old, but when beginning anything, it's important to remember the end. This year has reinforced the truth that all things on this earth are temporary, and Mommy and I have to be good stewards of you, our most precious gift. I will do the best I can to raise you. I will stay in love with Mommy, with our relationship founded and centered on Jesus' love for the church. I will always treat her with respect, honor her, and lead her as best I can, and I ask that someday (a long time from now) you find a man who will do the same for you. I will do my best to guide you with truth in love. I will help you learn from your mistakes (and mine). I will introduce you to things you're not used to to stimulate your mind and challenge you to grow in ways that you're not comfortable with at first, but always do my best to keep you safe and help you process new experiences. I will always do what is best for you--except that I will probably mess up a lot too. In those times, I will need your forgiveness and trust, as I will always offer it to you too. I will always love you, no matter what.
I can't wait to see what the next year holds! In your first year you went from squirming to crawling, and this year you went from walking to running. 365 days from now, you will probably be flying. Who knows? It's the best adventure I've ever been on and, I suppose, you too.