A Letter to Jackson: On Your 9th Birthday

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Dear Jackson,

You charmed me from the moment I met you eight and a half years ago and you have continued to do so every day since. Being your dad is a really, great gig! This year’s birthday blog is going to be outlined using a famous lyric from one of your favorite songs “My Shot” from the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (“Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry…”). You are the epitome of those three characteristics.

YOUNG

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Even though you are still in the single digits you have taught me a lot. Last year, we were heading out of the house to catch our flight for our vacation to Walt Disney World. On the way out the door, you stopped, took off your watch, put it in on the kitchen counter and said, “I am going to have so much fun on this vacation, I don’t want to be distracted by the time.” That was some great wisdom and prompted me to have the same conviction about staying off my phone and being fully present with our awesome family.

Also, I love the way you are such a good friend to others. I know this year of transition has been especially hard on you because you had some very good friends back in Zanesville. I’m sure they miss you too. At the same time, you have quickly made your mark on your new home. The first time you had a baseball game for your new team you were out there encouraging teammates and demonstrating leadership by making sure others knew the game situations. No matter where you go in life you will always have friends because YOU ARE a good friend.

So just like the Bible says, “Don’t let others look down on you because you’re young.” You just keep setting the example for others.

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SCRAPPY

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Whether it’s getting ready to take on Kylo Ren in an epic light saber battle or tackling your homework you give everything your best shot. I was impressed this week with your work ethic as I watched you take the initiative to get your book report done. (I was also proud that you chose to do your book report on Derek Jeter!)

This year you had to endure some painful and tough situations whether it was dealing with a fractured ankle or getting some teeth extracted but those things couldn’t slow you down.

Your hardest challenge, in my opinion, was for the first time going to a school that your older brother hadn’t first gone to. Since your new school (Richland Elementary) goes from kindergarten through 3rd grade, you had to walk in as the new kid all by yourself. Your mom and I are extremely proud of the way you are rocking it at your new school.


HUNGRY

I love your competitive heart and your hunger to be the best you can be. This year your hard work paid off when you hit your first home run ever in the Tri-Valley Youth League and then a few months later you did it again for your new team at Pine-Richland! Something tells me those won’t be your last. It is so much fun to watch you play all over the diamond whether it’s shortstop, pitcher, catcher or outfield.

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More than anything else I love your heart for God. I love the way you pray to Him and I want you to dig your roots deep into Him. He alone can provide you life beyond anything this world has to offer. I want you to be a champion for truth because He is truth. Your verse this year comes from Psalm 34:13 that says, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”

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