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The Gift

There aren't many experiences in this world that can make one feel at once completely inadequate and fully enamored quite like having a child.

The euphoria and elation that coalesces with exhaustion and existential dread is unlike anything else. Search the world and live a thousand lives, and I believe this would hold true.

We just had our third, and our first son. As a man there is a sense of legacy and a future vision of how to lead and love a young boy that immediately filled my mind. Two weeks removed from his arrival and my mind is still awash with all of the things that haven't happened yet.

But with the weight of being charged with the stewardship and care of a little life that grew from infinitesimal pieces

of you comes a the panic of provision. Knowing that now more than ever you need to do anything and everything in your power to give them a good life and a safe and secure home. That part never gets easier, and when everything around you is shouting better, faster, stronger, and more it becomes nigh impossible not to feel as though whatever you do, you'll never be able to keep up.

Numbers flash before your eyes on a smartphone screen, a banking app that foretells your doom as the necessities poke holes in an already leaky ship. Cars to be fixed or new ones to be bought. Groceries that feel more akin to gouging, which is also what you want to do when you see the 'on sale' price of a bunch of bananas.

Questions swirl like a hurricane named Uncertainty:

Am I doing enough?

Am I enough?

Do we have enough?

Will we have enough tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year?

But in spite of all that, and maybe even because of it, there is a propulsion to the present that beckons and must be heeded.

The present day--moments and seconds--only happens now and never again.

So when I look at my son while I hold him in his afternoon contentment, when I hear a hunger pang induced cry that wakes me for the fourth time in the night at 2am, when I see my daughters growing up too fast to be real and holding our new child, when I see my wife work so diligently to be the best mother she can be in these child bearing years all while fighting through the pain that is the aftermath of giving birth, I know exactly what it is that I cannot afford.

It's not the car repair or the new vehicle.

It's not the bloated balloon that is the cost to stay alive in 2023.

What I cannot afford is the pulling away from the present, for the present is a gift unwrapping before my very eyes all too fast.

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