As we watched the Olympics last night, out of nowhere NE asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up.

To be honest, I haven’t given that very much thought lately. Most days, it seems like I’m stuck in a revolving door…not able to escape the craziness of our life for more than an hour here…two hours there. I’m not complaining, mind you…wouldn’t change a thing…just saying that my vision has been pretty short-term lately. Most days, I’m not able to see past the end of the day, let alone plan for tomorrow…next week…next month…15 years from now when I retire.

So goes my conversation with a curious 5 year old:

Me: “But I’m already a firefighter.”
NE: “No dad. When you grow up and don’t want to be a firefighter anymore, what do you want to be?”
Me: “When I grow up, I want to be a great daddy and a child of God.”
NE: (With a grin) “Not when you die…when you’re still on earth, not in heaven.” (I love the innocence found only in a child.)
Me: “Then I want to be a Papa.”
NE: Giggles
Me: “I want to be a Papa when you have children.”
NE: (Giggles louder) “but I already have a Papa…and a grandpa.”
Me: “Then you can call me Poppy.”
NE: Uncontrollable giggles

And as quickly as it started, you’re distracted with the runners on tv, and the moment is gone. But the conversation made an impression on me…and I look toward the future…not to what I want to be, but toward who I want to be. I want to be a man of integrity, honor and courage, humbly serving others just as Christ served. I want to be the kind of dad that leaves a legacy for your grandchildren…that they can look back at and be proud of. For now, though, I’m happy to live in the moment…and watch you dream of what you want to be when you grow up. Whatever that may be, I’ll be your strongest supporter. I love you buddy!

Love,

Dad

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