These thoughts have been postponed for quite some time. Mostly because I can speak them more clearly than I can write them and partly because I know that in writing them they become concrete objectives of the ongoing mission statement that I have aspired to since that very first birthday on July 15, 2002. I recall the the pigment deficient head as it ascended from the water, eyes struggling to grasp the concept of light. I recall my desire to shove aside the European midwife so that I could coax you the remainder of the way as clearly as I remember reminding myself of why we had sought her services in the first place. Fortunately, she was kind enough to respect that I would like to be one of the first two people to greet this new soul arriving to join us on our journey.
5 years later you have broadened your already large personality to consume one experience after another. I can’t say that I know another child who takes on tap like you, who plays baseball like you, or who approaches sign language with your enthusiasm. You show yourself to be more precocious and innately sensible each day I know you. An heir to the throne beside the other daughters of Katherine Mackey in every respect. I used to have a habit of saving up every witty challenge you presented to your old dad. I would make notes of any major quip that crossed my radar that caused me to question who was in fact the elder in this situation. At later dates, I would present this evidence to my mother and father that someone was playing a game with me. Something was definitely afoot. Someone had found Auset’s womb and inserted this “child” there only to make me look ever the fool trying wrangle and raise up someone that keeps proving to me how little guidance they actually need to attack every experience in life with vigor.
In the days leading up to this celebration, I had to ask myself how I should go about honoring and celebrating you properly. I am not a big fan of birthdays in the traditional sense as I understand them in the same regard that I understand holidays. They are excuses to do something different and I don’t think human beings should need excuses for exercising their right to celebrate living, family, and freedom. Only days ago on July 10, I had let my own birthday pass by without so much as a peep. A traditional afternoon was spent at your little league practice trying to motivate you to focus on the coach and the field. I apologize if I push you too hard sometimes. I try to follow each such experience with an embrace or an affirmation of Love so that you will know that all of my behaviors are rooted there.
As we walked into your grandmother’s house that evening, I noticed your keen eye peering about the room for any signs of traditional birthday paraphernalia. There was none to be found. As interesting as this was, I found it even more interesting that you did not move away from this initial state of excitement to one of disappointment. Instead you spent the first half of the time playing with the basketball your grandmother had given you and waiting with anticipation as Mike and I tightened the bolts on your new bike. We then enjoyed a few bites from the Sponge Bob ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins before we put your helmet and padding on and went outside to test out the bike.
In the end, I want you to know that I was proud of how you handled that day. I know other children that would have thrown a tantrum over such a spartan celebration. My objective here was to teach you the value of honoring the people and relationships that exist around you instead of honoring things. The love you draw from these relationships will sustain you far longer than the temporal satisfaction that you derive from the things that people use to prop themselves up in the world.
I have my reservations about diving in so early to these values as I still have the traditional parental ideals to grapple with in wanting to give your children everything, but I hope to bypass these feelings to show you “everything else” that is traditionally forgotten while children are learning the art of accumulation. Every gift you receive from me will follow the continued pattern of the piano and the guitar. They will all be chosen to guide you toward a new experience where you might ultimately find your way in Life. I look forward to holding your hand as we flesh out the rest of this parent child experiment.
PS: I have given up trying to figure out who you really are. I understand that sometimes we are not allowed to reveal these things early on. I am sure that someday you will reveal yourself to me. Until then, I hope you don’t mind that I continue addressing you as Jah’kaya Sirius Tekhen.