It’s On! and The Heart of the Child

It was my 3rd child’s birthday yesterday. He’s in Phoenix. I’m in Los Angeles. We spoke briefly but certainly not what I would have liked.. a hug, to see his haircut, to be present.

About this kid! He has always been MORE!

More challenges! More emotions on his sleeve. More tears. More laughter. More calls from school. More arguments. More hugs. More!!

And maybe more lessons too.

He used to go to sleep squirming and talking and wake up the same way.. He wasn’t 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. He was 80 to 80 to 0 (sleep) to 80.

“It’s On!!”

Once, when the boy was perhaps 3 or 4 years old, I was in bed… it was early.. perhaps 5am or so. I heard him exit is room down the hall and come running! The patter of his feet as he ran. He turned the corner, using the wall with a thump to guide his turn, and then bursting into our room.. his excited words coming to me prior to his abrupt entrance.

“It’s On!!! Dad!! It’s On!!”

Chris toddler matt jess

Chris (left) and his older brother and sister.

He came to my bed and started pulling on me.. urgent! Needing me to get up. He kept repeating.

“Dad! Come on! It’s On!! I want to show you.”

I got up with him and my mind started racing. The first thought I had was that we had left our sprinklers on and flooded the neighbors yard below us…..again!!

He pulled me through the house to our back sliding glass door. He pointed to the sky, above the Eastern tree line.

“Dad! The sun! It’s On! I want to play!”

I was struck with the absolute profound simplicity of this… I have always LOVED getting up. I’ve always been a bit hyper and over-excited about some of the simple things in life! My kids joke that I find everything “Amazing!” And I do!

It was encouraging and “It’s On!” has been sort of a rallying cry for me and for others who know the story.

The day is on! Whether it is business or fun, your kids, your spouse, your dreams, or anything else you’ve determined as important in your life. When faced with a new day, the rising sun, the fullness of opportunity in front of you… Can you hear his voice? Can you hear him say it?

“It’s On!!”

Chris… you are an amazing person. Even through some of our challenges, I really like your company, your humor, and the way you made me laugh at all the wrong times (like those times in front of your teachers when you were in trouble). Life is good! And It’s On!

His Heart

One thing about Chris. He wears his heart on his sleeve.. the sucker cries at everything. I remember when he was about 11 or 12, I gave him the book, “Of Mice and Men” by Steinbeck. A few days later, Chris approached me, holding the book.

He said, “Dad.. I finished it.”

Then he put his head into my chest and started sobbing!

Later, in high school, he came to me and said, “Dad.. I have to read, ‘Of Mice and Men’.” We looked at each other.. and both started crying.

Thank you for those emotions! We should all be so passionate! Shouldn’t we?

Chris and his siblings

Chris (left) and the same older siblings.

2 thoughts on “It’s On! and The Heart of the Child

  1. I love that kid, as well!! But in a completely different way, being the principal who sat across the table from you during a heated meeting. Me or the teacher addressing our concerns about Chris and then you, not being able to control the smirk which would soon resort to a snicker then a guffaw billowing from mouth! Oh how, at first I would say, are you serious?????? But then I got to know you and really came to appreciate Chris’s likeness to his dad and, well the rest has always been admiration of your father son relationship!!!
    Glad to see all is well in Cali. At least I suppose!

    • Wow! Helen.. I am honored that you read and took time to comment on this article. You were always a smile for Christopher and someone who, while needing a degree of compliance, clearly loved him and he knew it. You are one of our most positive memories during those years.

      He is out there in Arizona with his brother but I will fill you in on that later.

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