This is the transcript of the letter I wrote to Danny for his first birthday. It’s meant to be a special gift to Danny but I felt the words were worth sharing. Thanks

Danny – you were loved the moment you were conceived and that love has grown with each passing day. You are precious but resilient. You are able to make us laugh, worry, and cry all in the same moment. You are an awesome addition to our family.
You are one today. A year of exercise later, you have help me stave off any early signs of the “dad bod.” From our first session doing squash foot work as you fell asleep to the finale, a one arm push up, you have laughed, giggled, and cried. I can’t wait for you to keep me on my toes and pass me by in the years to come. 
Maybe it is crazy but my heart still skips a beat when you remember who I am, when you want me in busy crowd (if mom is not there of course:), or when you smile as I walk through the door. Your expressions are worth a thousand words. 

Your growth and change will not let up and it is up to your mother and I to cherish each and every passing moment. I want you to read this one day, to feel our love and to get you excited about what has yet to come. Being a dad in a loving family is like nothing you will ever experience.

Your mother has been an absolute champion through it all. When I had to work longer hours or an evening shift – she took care of you solo – bathed you, fed you, and played with you. I would love to take credit for it but you played pass with her long before you did with me. You are lucky to have a mom who can care for you in one moment and make you laugh in the next. At times I have found it hard to relate to your mothers experience but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. 

Now don’t mistake me – having a child isn’t always easy. It stresses families, relationships and work. Try to remember to readjust expectations, keep things simple, and take pleasure in the small moments. It is a gift to be able to some grow and flourish, never forget that. 
When I was young I was lucky to have a father you who taught me some precious lessons – I have always held them tight and tried my best to live by them. I hope these quotes can be a guiding light for you as well. 

Always give your friends more than they give you. In general just give more than you receive. 
Do unto others as you would have do un to you. 
Slow is easy. 
Reward always comes after effort. 
It matters not whether your won or lost but how you played the game. 
Seek first to understand then to be understood. 

I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. I won’t always be perfect and I wont always be able to make it to everything you do. But I know in my heart I am giving your my best. As you grow older I want you to be able to let go – you can’t be everything to everyone. Have faith in your good heart and be happy with who you become. It’s a hard lesson but one that offers inner peace and calmness. 

We love you little D

Mom and Dad