Liam, you are
celebrating your second birthday today.
My son, I love you deeply.
You are now constructing stuttering five word sentences. Your speech is concise and to the
point. Your “yes” is your “yes”
and your “no” is your “no”. “Dad,
I’m just playing” is the answer you regularly give to my question, “What are
you doing?” Your favourite answer and activity is the same. Playing. Your stuttering speech is totally over gulfed by the poetry
of your play.
I know that
at some point you will be asking those existential questions that come with the
privilege you are born into.
“What will I
do with my life?” – the question I ask you now will be asked in the
wider context of your life.
I pray that
you will be able to answer that question with an awareness that privilege leads
to responsibility. I pray that you
will become a human being who lives his responsibility with the same
playfulness you show now.
When you are
excited you show it verbally and bodily.
Your “Yipee!” and your body’s jump-skip-run operates in perfect
synchronization (just as your “Ouch or No!” and your body’s crying has the same
I pray that
you will be able to keep the communication between your speech and your body
intact. When I see your holistic
coordination it inspires me. Your
candidness calls me into a life without lies. Another word that strikes me is when you say “again!”
almost always with an intense laugh from your stomach. You never tire of an activity that is
fun. You are deeply creative even
within monotonous activities. In
this you’re moving me to find pleasure in the every-day-rhythms of
My son, you
make me smile. When I play with
you I remember that I’m at heart also a child. It is a joy to play with you and to discover life with
you. Today, as we celebrate your
birthday, I am reminded that in your playfulness you show me something of our
Creator. GK Chesterton described
it well when he wrote that,
children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free,
therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it
again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For
grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is
strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible God says every morning, “Do
it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not
be automatic necessity to make all daisies appear alike; it may be that God
makes every daisy separately, but has never grown tired of making them. It may
be that He has the eternal appetite for infancy: for we have sinned and grown
old, and our Father is younger than we.”
Liam I pray
that you and I will learn how to play within the story our Trinitarian God has
been playing all along. I love