Do you remember the day I picked you up after work and brought you home from your grandparents’ house?
Grandma had invited you to come up to their house and stay for the weekend. And on Monday, when I finished work, I drove up there to pick you up and bring you home.
And on the way home, we saw him crossing the road in front of us. It was a painted turtle, I think. He was about eight or nine inches long. He wasn’t moving particularly quick (as is usually the case with turtles) and I had to slow down and steer around him so as not to “prep” him to be turtle soup.
And in that moment, I thought, “inquisitive kid. Teachable moment. Let’s turn around.”
You’ve always been a curious one, with what always appeared to be a love for learning and a discipline to do it well.
When we stopped and got out of the van that day, you were watching the turtle. But I was watching you. I loved how you interacted with people and with things back then, and I loved to watch you – to see you growing and becoming your own little person. I loved that chance to let you see something new.
Sometimes you’ve surprised me with your lack of curiosity about things, too. I remember a day I took you and your brothers into an auto plant close to home to let you see the equipment in operation.
I opened the door into the plant from the office, letting you see some of my world – with the robots working feverishly and parts of cars going everywhere.
And again, I watched you. I watched all of you actually. But in that instance, I watched you probably more than the others. Because with your love for computers and science and stuff, I thought for sure it would be a hit.
You had enough after about 15 seconds. Not your cup of tea. Considering that you’re a physicist now, doing cutting edge research, I thought it would have been more to your liking.
But that’s ok. You’ve done well enough for yourself now. And I’m proud of you for all the hard work you’ve done that has gotten you to where you are now.
My job, as your dad, was to give you a chance to see as many doors open wide to you as I could. But I’m not hurt that you “found your own doors.”
Our Heavenly Father has opened doors for you that you’ve walked through. I truly believe that. He has put people in your path that have taken you on a journey that I never could have done on my own. He does stuff so much better than we can.
Anyway, I’m surprised to see how much of a thrill I get when I watch all of you guys all out doing things that I couldn’t do or wouldn’t see myself doing.
But I guess a good dad always wants to lift his kids up on his shoulders so they can climb from there to new heights and eventually go where dad has never gone.
So maybe, by that measure, I’ve not done all that bad.
Son, I love you bunches. I always did. I always will. And I’m so proud of you and where God is taking you on this journey of life.