Just the two of us

"Always tell the truth, say your prayers, hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears. You're living proof that dreams come true. I love you and I'm here for you" -Will Smith, Just the Two of Us

I will never forget the first time I ever heard that song. It was 1998, and I was at Grant Hospital waiting for my first son to be born. It was a nerve racking day, but I remember it like it was 5 minutes ago. Someone played the song for me and I told them that was the kind of relationship I wanted to have with my boy.  I remember holding him for the first time, looking at him, and thinking that suddenly the responsibility of showing this newborn how to be a good man was squarely on my shoulders. It was the first time in my life I ever felt really grown up.

Through the years, I have always tried to maintain that kind of relationship with the guys. I really had 3 examples of what a Dad should be. My birth father was never there. The monster showed what it was like to parent with fear, torture, abuse and hate. And My Dad taught me how to be firm yet fair, and how to be a real Dad.

 I have done my best to follow his example. And today, exactly 16 years since I first heard that song, since I welcomed John-Michael David Slusher into this world, I look at the man who stands before me now. Respectful. Polite. Outgoing. Caring. Compassionate. And I think to myself, "Yeah I am doing it right." Well with a tiny bit of help from Little Red that is.

When he was younger, we listened to the song many times together. And he would always say the best part was coming up right before The Fresh Prince says "Daddy loves you, Daddy loves you, for the rest of your life." I loved that. And even though he is just about grown, I still hear those words and tear up every time I hear the song. It is one of a million awesome memories my 16 year old son has given me, and I look forward to a million more.

John-Michael David:

It is my absolute privilege and honor that I get to be your Dad. You and your brothers are the greatest joy in my life and my inspiration. Everyday I thank God for blessing me with you all. You make me proud, and I stand in awe of the person you have become. Thank you Son.

"Always tell the truth, say your prayers, hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears. you're living proof that dreams come true. I love you and I'm here for you"

"Daddy loves you, daddy loves you, for the rest of your life"

Day # 540. Happy 16th Birthday JM. Now go get a job and I will buy you a car! It is great to be me!










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