I want to be the kind of dad that will always marvel at your ingenuity, like right now how you found a butterfly I've never noticed in a picture in a book I've read to you 100 times. I want to forever be overcome by your daring, like how I see you climb stairs - be they concrete or wood - like they're petty obstacles standing in your way as you attempt to do some great thing.
I want to always appreciate your amazement at yourself, like when you put stickers on your shirt and are impressed by how they stay where you want them.
I want to be appreciative of our Sundays, even though they presently wear me out and I know that come Monday I only get the mornings and evenings to make you laugh.
I want to cheer you on as you do something that matters to you, like how you line up your toy animals on your table so they're just right.
I want to make you happy. I know very soon it will take more than $12 for a Curious George doll, but for now, I'll relish that feat.
I want to never stand in the way of your dreams, like how you tell me to get out of a chair you'd like to sit in. Please, in the future, if you need me to boost you up towards something incredible - like how I lift you into the chair you want - just say the word.
I want us to remember how to make each other laugh; me by tickling you under your chin and you by just laughing.
I want to be a reminder that books can take you places your idle mind cannot and that just as you do now so may you always be willing to open the cover of something that looks interesting, informative, or just plain fun.
I want to always say "Lindley!" when you say "Da-Da," whether we're in a crowded mall or at our kitchen table.
I want to cheer for you when you're excited, like when I come for you at school some afternoons, our eyes locking across the room and you then toddle over with expectation.
I want your pain to hurt me, your joy to elate me, and your being to give me all the more reason to be.