Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Words

For posterity, just wanted to upload the short speeches Jonathan and I said at Ben's party.

Daddy:
It’s so cliché to say that having a baby changes your life forever. Well after a year of being a parent, I’d like to say that having Ben has changed my life forever. Now there are only two phases in my life: before Ben’s birth and after Ben’s birth.
Just how much as my life changed? Well, all of my memories of before Ben’s birth seem like a distant dream; told to me by a third-person narrator. I know that I had experiences before Ben’s birth, but they seem like some old VHS tapes that I haven’t watched in a long while. Now, over the past year, my wife and I have been living fully in the present as main characters of Ben’s rapidly unfolding life-story.
I believe that children are an amazing blessing to us because they present incredible challenges to our daily lives. And I’m not just talking about the challenge of collapsing a Pack ‘n Play, or measuring formula at 3 o’clock in the morning. I’m also talking about the challenges that children bring to our way of life and our pre conceived notions. A child’s mind is purely idealistic, untarnished by fears and biases that we adults accumulate throughout our lives. If we let them, children will change not only our daily routine, but also our values and ideals.
It’s so fitting that the stories of the central figures of the Jewish and Christian traditions begin at birth. Scripture goes into vivid detail of the early lives of Moses and Jesus as babies and as children; two leaders who eventually upended their respective societies. Throughout history these stories have inspired hope that the next generation will bring positive change to our lives; even change that we don’t know we need.
Shortly after the near-collapse of our economy last year, a friend who is a parent asked me: “Isn’t it scary raising a child today with all of the world’s problems, not knowing if the future will be positive?” After thinking about what he said, I have confidently decided that no, it is not scary. I have faith that my son and those of his generation will solve the problems of the today because they are not weighed down by our biases and our fears. The future is not captive to our wrongs and our mistakes, but it is free to fly to the endless heights that this youngest generation can lift it to.
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

Mommy:
Jonathan and I would like to thank you all for being here with us today to mark the occasion of Benjamin’s 1st birthday.
Because we did not have a bris or baptism for Ben, this day is quite important to us, and we feel that we’ve hit a huge milestone as a family. We are honored that you took time out of your busy lives to pause and celebrate with us. We feel that our Benjamin is worth celebrating.
To say that it has been an amazing year is an understatement. It has been an amazing, exhausting and exhilarating year. To be responsible for a child, a human life, is an awe inspiring responsibility. To have a partner such as Jonathan with whom to walk this road is truly my greatest fortune.
We would be remiss to gather you all here today and not mention the four people without whom we would not be here today (literally)—our parents, Ronna, Les, Carole and Phos.
They have helped us and supported us and loved us, unconditionally and intensely through the last year.
Every new family should be so lucky to have the support of four grandparents close by to bring food, change diapers, to listen, encourage and gently guide.
Obviously they did a fantastic job with their own children, if I do say so myself, and we could not be luckier to have these four amazing parents in our lives for us and for Ben.
A million thanks are not enough to adequately express our deep gratitude. We will do our best to raise our son using the morals and tenets that you have taught us.
We cherish the relationship you are building with our son and soon he will realize just how amazingly lucky he is to have you.

1 comment:

Goddess in Progress said...

So sweet!

And, DUDE! You gave SPEECHES? Dang. I'm such a slacker. :-)