What Really Matters

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I must admit, it's been an emotional couple of days for me.  After school today I picked up 2 of my boys from school, went by the house to pick something up, headed over to the daycare where my wife works and my youngest son attends, and took the family over to the hospital.  We went there to meet my new nephew Bowen.

Baby Bowen and Uncle Brett

In order to understand why this was an emotional day for me, I must unfortunately tell you about what happened on March 7, 2010.  On that day Cole, Bowen's older brother, wondered away from his older brother Japheth.  He found his way to the creek on my sister-in-law's property, fell in, and passed from this life to the next at the age of 2.  It was by far, the saddest day in my family's life.  I remember speaking at Cole's funeral to our family and friends about how the days ahead would be difficult but we were going to make it with the help of God and each other.

My son Micah, Cole in the middle, and his brother Japheth on the right.

Now here we are, almost 2 years later, and little Bowen has joined our family.  I am not sure why I have felt so compelled over the last few weeks, as Bowen's birth approached, to write this blog.  I have honestly been putting it off because of the emotion I knew I would feel while typing these words.  However, as this new year begins and a new life has joined my family, I am once again reminded about what matters in this life.

First and foremost, I am a parent.  I have three wonderful boys that have brought more joy to my life than I could have ever imagined.  I want to take time each day to make sure they realized how much I love them and how special they are to me.  I never want them to go a day without hearing me tell them that I love them.  They are all three unique gifts and I am blessed to be their father.  I have an amazing wife who loves me and all my faults.  She works hard in and out of the home.  She is raising all four of us boys and doing a great job.

I am blessed to work with young people in my job and at my church.  I affect the future every time I work with a child.  I never want to lose sight of that.  It is not about test scores, grades, curriculum, dress code, or anything else. It is about kids.  Precious...wonderful...kids.

They also have a tremendous impact on my life.  I am truly amazed by the things my own kids and the kids that I see every day can do and the potential they have.

I encourage you to take time and reflect on what really matters in this world.  Be reminded about why you wanted to become a parent, a spouse, a teacher, or whatever it is that defines you.  I think back to that great scene in the movie Hook where Peter Pan finds his happy thought and begins to fly again.  His happy thought was his reason for leaving Neverland and his purpose in life.

Remember your purpose in life and fly!

Find your happy thought.  Take somebody aside and say to them, as my friend Angela Maiers would say, "You matter!"  Do something positive for somebody else!  Time is short and precious.  Our family must realize that they are a gift.  Our parents and teachers must realize that they are ones that are passing the baton off to the future.  Our students must realize that they are dreamers of this world and the ones that will lead us to greatness.