|Vince's first fish - Lake Alpine, CA 1991
Vince was born in 1985 and this is 2017.
That means that my first born is now 32 – which doesn’t make sense. I know it sounds cliché, but it went by in a flash. Just yesterday mastered the Etch-a-Sketch. He learned to read and write before he was supposed to. He learned how to ride a bike in the backyard at Arnold. We took trips to Great America and Disneyland; took family vacations to Hawaii and Washington D.C. He collected baseball cards, rocks, and Legos. He played sports and work at a movie theater.
He moved out suddenly; we moved to Africa. And then – he was gone.
It was like losing an astronaut in deep space when Vince moved out- in Africa I prayed constantly for him. Once we reestablished contact, we asked him to consider spending some time with us in the RSA -and he did. It was the beginning of the relationship we have now.
|Vince arrives in South Africa - 2008
It is one of the greatest graces of God when your adult children choose to have relationship with you. When I pray, I thank God for the kids he gave us. I thank God we have grown and changed together. I watch them in a certain kind of wonder, thankful that they can do all the things they do.
Vince has recently changed professions—no longer is he in the oil fields of New Mexico. He lives in Sacramento again and works as a plumbing apprentice.
|Vince under a house - earlier this year (2017)
He works very hard every day and still comes home to play hard with his daughter, Scarlett. As I do homework I can hear her shrieking with delight upstairs, as her Dad plays with her.
Every Saturday night Vince and Rikki go out and Mario and I get to have Scarlett. Tonight we made a birthday cake together.
“Who is this cake for?” I asked her, almost rhetorically.
“MY Daddy,” Scarlett said, hitting her chest with her hand. “MY Daddy!”
“YOUR Daddy is MY son,” I said, smiling. Scarlett gave me a look that always makes me laugh. She is possessive of her parents, and doesn’t like me to hug either one or talk about them like they are any relation to me. Scarlett shook her head.
“MY Daddy, and that’s Daddy’s cake!”
After I put it in the oven, I marveled at the beauty of life. Not only do I get to write about my son growing up, I am also writing about his daughter growing up in front of me, as well.
God is so good.
Happy Birthday, Vince. You grew up fast, but you became a man who I am glad to know. I love you!