Sunday, February 28, 2010

Never Have

I never had any type of big birthday party when I was a kid. My 8 siblings were pretty much the only invited guests to ice cream and cake. I never had a birthday shindig with games and a bunch of friends competing for prizes. I never had a clown, super hero or some other costumed person show up at a birthday to entertain me (this last sentence is a perfect opportunity for Anonymous to make several comments).

Maxfield turns six today. Last year, when he turned 5, we had a big party. This year we had a medium sized party. I guess part of me is trying to give him the stuff I never had.

I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few days. I also want to provide him a list of never haves that were also given to me. I want to give him my other never haves.

I never had to worry about my next meal. My parents always provided for me and they taught me how to provide for myself.

I never had to fight, truly physically fight another person. I have been involved in a lot of scuffles, most with my brothers, but none where I was scared I would not be able to protect myself.

I never had to worry about being alone. Always, always there were people in my life to stand beside me and behind me when times were tough.

I never had hate eat me up inside. There are people I strongly dislike. There are people I would prefer to have had never met. But I was taught by my parents the act of forgiveness, and maybe the art of being indifferent, so I would never feel hate towards another person.

I never had a day in my life where I thought I wasn't loved by at least someone. I know I made it difficult at times for people to love me but I always knew somewhere someone loved me. I know that as long as Lauren or myself are alive we can guarantee this for our kids.

I never had a day where I didn't laugh at least once. I was lucky enough to be born into a large family of very funny people. I have always felt surrounded by funny people. I either inherited the ability or I was taught to pretty much find the humor in all situations.

Maxfield turns six, I wish him, for his birthday, some of my never hads.

23 comments:

Bogart in P Towne said...

Happy Birthday Maxfield...here is hoping you never have question the love your parents clearly have for you...and that you never have to ask a friend to drive you home because you can't drive stick!

Susie said...

Awesome post. Wow...makes me want to write a "never have" post, too, if you wouldn't mind. Some day.

Mainline Mom said...

Wow. Loved this. Thank you for the reminder of what's important to kids.

Sharkey said...

Beautiful post. Happy birthday, Max!

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday Max!

SciFi Dad said...

Happy Birthday Max.

(As for you, Bill, I'm willing to wager that you never had an encounter with one of those fish from the Amazon that swim up your urethra and make it burn when you pee. Why then, did that not make your "never have" list? What kind of a man wishes that upon his son?!?)

Seriously though, great post. (I use taunting and humiliation as a defense mechanism against envy.)

Anonymous said...

You never had to worry about getting a date until you were in your 20's.

Amelia said...

That is super sweet. I hope you all have a great birthday celebration.

Anonymous said...

Max is 6! I remember when you were 6! Seems like yesterday! (for the "other" anonymous.) Wow! You scared me there for a minute. I was thinking "poor pitiful middle child" but then I had tears in my eyes. So glad there is no hate in your heart. It is a good day! Max's birthday! I have a deep thinking son! The snow is melting, all is right with the world!

Charity Donovan said...

So great! Love this post! Happy Birthday little man!

Amy M. said...

That was a great post. Happy birthday, Max!

eclectic said...

Aww... Happy 6th Birthday, Max! You'll never be 6 again, so live it up, little man!!

Shannon said...

Great post, Bill. I'm constantly telling my kids to be thankful for what they have instead of complaining about what they don't have. I may have to rethink my strategy. :o)
Happy Birthday, Max!

for a different kind of girl said...

This is lovely. First, happy birthday to your Maxfield. Second, I hope you tuck this particular entry into envelopes for each of your sons to have with them always.

maria from nj said...

Happy Birthday Maxfield! He is surrounded by love, the boy has all one can ask for. Not that a surprise superhero is all that bad either!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Happy Birthday Maxfield.

Loved this post Bill. I hope he ends up with all those never hads

Bejewell said...

This is awesome. Happy birthday, kiddo!

Muskrat said...

*cling* That was me toasting your nevers. Not to be confused with toasting your nethers, which I also do from time to time.

Anonymous said...

You never bested the Spaniard.

Anonymous said...

I wish I never had to listen to Pops tell us to go play on our own street.

Anonymous said...

What about PR Joe?

Chatter said...

Great list! I'm one of 11 children and everything you wrote hit home for me. These days I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to my parents for my 10 siblings and the lessons they instilled in us.
Chandra

The Absence of Alternatives said...

This is so beautifully and lovingly written. I came too late for the party, but I thought such a birthday letter should go into the family fire safe for posterity. Really. Sometimes you think your kids know that you love them, but they have no idea just how much. And sometimes they need to know that. esp. when you are not there....