Originally written December 4, 2010

I got to spend three hours today at the All Pro Dad’s Day event with NE at the St. Louis Rams training facility. Let me say it was by far the best three hours I’ve had in months! I got to see the NE that I know for the first time in about 3 months come back…

NE, you have been struggling recently to find your place in our family. Let me make it clear right now as your father and the God-appointed leader of our family that you do not have to “find” your place amongst us. Your place within our family was established when God breathed His life into you and was solidified for us the day you were conceived. Your mom and I accept you and love you for who you are, no matter what you do along the way.

You have been struggling to find yourself amongst life in a household with your siblings. Your big sister and bubba take so much of our time and energy, that we have not been able to provide you with what you consider to be your most precious asset – our time. And it is indeed a precious asset, a responsibility to provide that I do not take lightly. As you grow, I pray that you will come to understand why your sister requires so much extra from us, and it is my heart’s desire that you grow to have a compassionate heart for her and not resent her for what she’s taken from you, our time. I see in you a heart that thinks of others. You share what is yours with your sister and brother, as much as a three-year old is able. Every time I give you a treat, like a piece of candy, you think to grab one for both SD and SI. While you three have your sibling rivalries and conflict, YOU are the one that comes to their side when someone outside of our family is hurting them. You have stood up for SD and SI with the neighborhood friends…kids twice as old and three times bigger than you. The day you did that made me so proud.

Lately you have been acting out aggressively in what I believe is your effort to get our attention, to get us to interact with you more. I have received the message and heard your plea. I am here. I will give you more positive interaction. I will give you more of my time. I will make time for you alone, away from your brother and sister. I will help you find your “thing”. SD has her Therapeutic Horsemanship every week, and right now bubba has being a one-year old on his side. Stuck in the middle, you don’t have your “thing”. It has become my passion to help you find your “thing” and to let you have it without having to share it. Today at the football event for dads was the first step toward that goal. The first step among many as we venture down this path together. You should have seen the way your face lit up when I told you the night beforehand…

I was tucking you into bed, I’d just read your bedtime story and we’d said our prayers together. As I was covering you up, I said, tomorrow morning I have a meeting and will be back after lunch. When I get home, how ’bout you and me go play some football together?”. You looked at me with a small smile, then looked over at bubba in his crib. Then back at me again. I said “bubba can’t go, just you and me?” you replied inquisitively, “sissy too?” “nope, jus you and me are going to play football. Sissy and bubba can’t go.” the smile on your face reached ear to ear and you kept saying “yeah!” over and over again.

Although your apprehension when we first arrived was warranted, you eventually warmed up to being in such an intense environment. We had to stand outside in the freezing cold on a windy day for 20 minutes to get in the door. Although you ha a heavy coat and my stocking cap on, you were frozen. There were a lot of strangers, and I appreciate that you don’t like strangers. That’s a GOOD thing, especially for a three year old. At about 30 minutes in, when I finally realized that your pleas to go home were actually you telling me you had to go potty, we fixed that problem and tried to return. The cheap frisbee the gave us as a door prize fascinated your imagination, and we broke from our group to play catch in the center of the field. For 2 1/2 hours straight, we ran and played, stopping only to lie down on the 20 yard line to draw monster trucks…

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