In Kenny Chesney’s hit song “The Boys of Fall” there is a scene where New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is addressing the team in the locker room and says “the feeling goes away – it goes away and it doesn’t come every Friday night, it comes when you get married, it comes when your child is born..so you get it, you just don’t get it every Friday night”. I love this song as it takes me back to when I was kid, getting ready for the big game. Sean is right when he says “it” goes away and comes back only at certain times.

One of those times for me, happened 21 years ago today as Kymberly Lynn entered the world. Man, I was scared to death! I was 23, her mom 20 and here was our first beautiful daughter. What a day that was as I looked into the eyes of this child, my child and realized how precious she truly was! Kym it seems to me as been smiling since that first day.

She truly was a happy baby! I can picture her now sitting on the floor at Mimi’s and Papa’s house with a cool whip tub on her head banging wooden spoons on the floor and laughing uncontrollably. Or the time that Lisa video taped her sitting on the floor at her Aunt Saralene’s house in front of a full length mirror – Lisa was standing behind her and kind of stomping her feet right behind Kym and Kym starts to laugh – sees herself in the mirror, kind of laughs at herself in the mirror and keeps going to where you don’t know if she is laughing at Lisa or at herself in the mirror. It is something you have to see to fully appreciate but it’s something that seems happened yesterday for me.

A girl who loves the water, always has and probably always will. I can see her and the other kids swimming in our pool back in Palm Harbor and while everybody enjoyed swimming, there was definite joy for Kym everytime she got in the pool. I think she would agree that one of her other great loves, was reading and that also continues today. Mom started her early, like 6 months old or something (I’m probably off on this but hey, I’m the one typing the blog). She would sit forever and listen to us read – those are still some of my favorite memories with all of my kids. But alas, like with other things our kids learn to do for themselves and now a lot of my must reads, come from Kym.

I remember the numerous road trips that Kym and I have shared over the years!. Pause – Dads, take time to make this happen with each of your children as they will create memories that last a lifetime!! One of my favorites was going to Daytona for a swim meet. I can’t tell you how well she performed although it was probably great but I can tell you how much fun we had – hanging out on the board walk, riding go-karts for what seemed like an hour straight and going to see Shrek!! And we always had a great time on our Daddy/Daughter dates!!

But perhaps my simplest and most gratifying memories of Kym (all of my kids really) are those times when they come and just sit down beside me on the couch and we snuggle or maybe hug. Or those instances where they simply come up and take my hand, give me a hug or the always heart felt – “what’s up?”

Kym, my birthday wish for you is that you always experience the joy that you have given to your mother and me!

My prayer for you is that you always keep Christ first in your life! Get that right, the rest will take care of itself.

Kym is 21 today and there can not be any parents out there prouder of their children then we are of Kym and all of our kids!! Happy Birthday Pud!! We love you!!

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