Of our two little stinkers, my oldest is still out of school for the last week of his Christmas break. Today, we're ensconced tightly on the couch, watching some ocean-themed, spear-fishing YouTube videos we both find interesting as I tap away at the keyboard, working to increase attendance in our Defenders gun classes and manage the back side of the business.
His fort built out of couch cushions lounges in front of us, his nerf ninja sword stuffed down the back of his shirt, and he's cuddled tightly into my left side, wide-eyed as he watches sea turtles and sharks and lobsters and crabs and snappers in crystal waters…it just warms the heart.
As a little boy, I dreamed of someday having a son. I dreamed of the days of playing catch with him, doing gymnastics together and playing board game, mimicking the way my own father did with me. A son whom I could love on, and one my wife and I could foster into a strong, kind, and loving young man. One with whom I could bond deeply, share my own passions and see his own possibly different ones materialize. A son who would instinctually be protective of his sweet mother and others, just as he already is. For the (good) parents out there, you understand the depth of emotion, hopes, pride, and love you have for your own that is innate…all felt in that moment.
As a cop for over a decade and still rather associated to the law enforcement world, I saw so many bad parents, or kids whose lives were just heart wrenching, and it's naturally a deep desire that our own grow up loved, in a Godly household, and well-adjusted for this ever-changing world.
Many of you followed the heart-stopping saga of Axel's birth and his unbelievable survival through so many near-death challenges in the months after birth, so as he snuggled up tightly just now, an amazing sense of the moment and gratitude for the life we share washed over in waves.
These are among God's greatest gifts…these quiet, gentle, loving moments with our closest ones.
2024 is now barely yet fully on us…may I and we all cherish these times. Hard days seem to be coming, if you follow the news, so whenever possible, may we go out of our way to create these softer moments, breathing in the accepted love of precious ones and treasuring the quiet times with those we are entrusted to grow and love.
Founder, Defenders USA