Kesleigh and I went on a bike ride the other day. She’s 4 (almost 5) and is still a little wobbly on her “new bike.” (She got it for Christmas.) Our neighbor, Peyton (7yrs) joined us for the ride. We rode around the neighborhood a while but then I got a little bored and decided to take them off road. We found a little trail that led us to a ditch. (maybe 20ft deep) The sides were a little steep and I could see a little trepidation on both their faces when I suggested that we ride down and then back up the other side.
Kesleigh spoke first, “Daddy, you go first.” I did. I rode down the smooth part of the hill thinking they would follow me.
When I reached the other side and motioned for them to come on over, Peyton jumped off his bike and walked it down the hill. Kesleigh (I love this girl) just looked at him and jumped on her bike and started down the hill. She trusted me and the direction I had pointed her in.
No fear. Fully committed. I could see the concentration on her face. She wobbled a little, but made it to the bottom, hit a bump, and bounced off the bike and onto the ground. By the time she realized what had happened, she heard daddy’s cheers showering down from above. “You were awesome Kesleigh! Good job! That was cool!”
Her first words? “Daddy, I made it to the bottom.” No tears. Just a positive outlook.
She fell, but she didn’t fail. I was so proud to see her commitment and determination.She didn’t hesitate.Fear didn’t have time to speak. She just went for it! She was all in! Her focus was perfect and even her attitude about falling was great. Daddy is proud!
That’s my girl!!!!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for Kesleigh. She’s a precious gift. Lord, help me to train her up so that she will grow in her understanding and love for You – so that she will give her life to You and serve you wholeheartedly. Lord, I also ask that You teach me to be like her – trusting the directions you point me in – not allowing fear to have a voice – having a great attitude about falling – being committed and focused – going for it and being all in when it comes to the things You’ve called me to. AMEN.
I watched her giggling across the room as she danced. The flashing lights sparkled in her eyes which lit up as she noticed me watching her. Her smile expanded even wider. She floated across the dance floor and threw her arms open to me saying “Hold me daddy!” We danced. Well….I danced and her feet dangled a few feet above the dance floor. It was an incredible night and I’m so grateful that I took the time to ask her out.
Kesleigh is 3, almost 4, and I had asked her to go with me about a week before the big event. As her father, it’s my goal tolove her like God loves her. I know I’ll never do that well, but it’s my responsibility to be an earthly representation of Him to her. That’s HUGE! I’ve got to do all I can and pray that God will use my even feeble efforts to reveal Himself to her.
I also wanted to make a special effort that night to let her see how a man should treat her. I know it’s early, but I want her to grow up knowing what to look for in a husband. I got dressed up for her – that may very well be the biggest expression of my love. I opened the door for her and was courteous. I bought her dinner (Yes it was McDonalds, but that’ll change as she gets older) and held her hand as we walked into the ballroom. I proudly introduced her to the people around us and waited patiently as she picked out candy for her snack. I asked her to dance with me and even embarrassed myself a bit for her entertainment. I laughed with her as I tried to teach her a few dances – Chicken Dance, YMCA, 2 Step, etc. I tried to serve her in every capacity and when the time was right….in the middle of a slow dance, I spoke to her gently and tried to explain how much she meant to me. I know she’s only three, but she truly seemed to grasp the significance of the moment and before I even finished talking, she looked directly in my eyes, and said, “I love you daddy.” as she wrapped her little arms around my neck. She just held me for the rest of the song. It was magical. The rest of the evening she wouldn’t leave my side. Even when I tried to get her to dance with her friends, she only wanted to be with me.
This is my prayer – that Kesleigh would grasp the significance of God’s love for her and that she would never want to be out of His presence again. LORD, may it be so.
P.S. – If you ask her what the best part of the evening was, she won’t mention any of these events. All she’s gonna talk about is the “Candy Bar” and how she was able to go back as many times as she wanted.
Kasen and Kesleigh love playing in the water. We went to our friend’s birthday party earlier this week and Kasen was the smallest kid on the Big Slide. He was so proud of himself. (Makes daddy proud too) He really had to work up the courage to go down on his tummy, but he did it. I’ve always said I want to raise a risk-taker. When Kesleigh saw daddy filming Kasen, she had to get on a slide too. Funny.
If you’re reading this on Facebook, please go to the actual blog post. The audio will not work on Facebook. http://stevecorn.com/2011/07/fathers-day-surprise/
Miranda helped Kasen and Kesleigh record an audio book for me for Father’s Day. It was a big surprise. It’s actually a book that Miranda bought that was set up for the recording process. Anyway, I took the audio and put it here ’cause it’s so cool. My kids (and bride) are AWESOME!
Father’s Day 2011.mp3
Miranda says that she didn’t coach them at all, but some of their answers are pretty perfect. Of course my kids are pretty perfect too. (I’m not biased either.)
Miranda: Where do you like to go with dad on a Saturday and why Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: The beach
Miranda: Where do you like to go Kasen?
Kasen: Go to . . . play volleyball.
Miranda: OK. And what game do you like to play with dad?
Kesleigh: I play a game
Kasen: That’s me.
Miranda: Would you and dad have more fun on a boat, a dog sled, or a spaceship Kesleigh?
Kasen& Kesleigh: A spaceship.
Miranda: and where would you go?
Kasen: to the moon and jump.
Miranda: You would go to the moon and jump Kasen?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: Where would you go Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: to the moon and jump.
Miranda: You would go to the moon and jump too?
Miranda: What else would you do when you were there?
Kasen: Uh. . . not slide down.
Miranda: Not slide down?
Kasen: No, because it’s too far.
Miranda: Too far. Kasen, if you and daddy were superheroes, what powers would you have?
Kasen: Fly super high. . . fast.
Miranda: Superfast. And what would your names be? What would you call yourselves?
Kasen: My name would be Batman an daddy’s name would be Superman.
Miranda: Those are good names. What do you think Kesleigh? What would your superpowers be?
Kesleigh: My daddy o Superman.
Miranda: He’s Superman?
Miranda: Well, what are you?
Kesleigh: I’m SuperBatman.
Miranda: Kesleigh if daddy were a king, what kind of food would he have at his feast?
Miranda: Ketchup? What else.
Kesleigh: Just ketchup.
Miranda: Just ketchup. Kasen, what kind of food do you think daddy would have at his feast?
Kasen: Uh. . . . sausage and biscuits.
Miranda: Sausage and biscuits. That’s a good food. Do you think your favorite food is the same? What is your favorite food?
Kasen: Grilled Cheese.
Miranda. Grilled Cheese. What is your favorite food Kesleigh?
Miranda: Cheese. Just cheese huh? OK – What kind of animals would daddy have at his castle Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: I don’t. . . some ketchup. . . some ketchup.
Miranda: What animals?
Kesleigh: some ketchup.
Miranda: Kasen, what kind of animals do you think daddy would have at his castle?
Kasen: Sheep and uh . . . uh. . . a king.
Miranda: He would be the king?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: Kasen, where do you think daddy’s favorite spot in our house is?
Kasen: . . . . in the bathroom?
Miranda: <laughing> In the bathroom? And what do you think daddy does there?
Miranda: He goes potty. OK. Kesleigh, where do you think daddy’s favorite spot in the house. . .
Kesleigh: He goes to get ice cream.
Miranda: When he goes to get ice cream?
Miranda: Where does he go to get ice cream?
Kesleigh: At. . . at Chick-a-lay. (Chickfila)
Miranda: At Chickfila? OK. If daddy could be the same age as you Kasen, for just one day, what do you think you would do together?
Miranda: You would swing? What else would you do with him?
Kasen: Umm. . .
Miranda: What else would you do with daddy? What do you like to do with him?
Miranda: You like to go potty with him?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: OK. What else?
Kasen: Um. . .
Miranda: If daddy won a gold medal for doing something incredible, what do you think he’d win the medal for?
Miranda: Loving. For loving who?
Kasen: For loving me and Kesleigh.
Miranda: For loving you and Kesleigh? That’s a nice one. OK Kasen, look here. If daddy gave you a big trophy for doing something amazing, what do you think you would be doing that was so amazing for him to give you a trophy?
Kasen: ?????? <distracted>
Miranda: Kesleigh, what is it that you like about daddy?
Miranda: His kisses?
Kesleigh: <whispered> Yes.
Miranda: What else?
Kesleigh: and his birthday.
Miranda: And his birthday? Kasen, what do you like about daddy?
Kasen: For playin’ baseball.
Miranda: Cause he plays baseball with you?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: What else do you like?
Kasen: Uh. . . eating ice cream.
Miranda: Eating ice cream with him?
Kasen: Un huh.
Miranda: That’s a good one. OK. Let’s say we love you daddy.
I love this picture I took of Kasen and I the other day. I love seeing him riding alongside daddy’s shadow. I wish you could hear the sounds he was making at this very moment. He was laughing and smiling as he just enjoyed being with daddy and doing tricks on his bike. It’s my prayer that he always loves being near daddy’s shadow. And even more importantly, I pray that he will one day realize that it’s God’s shadow that he should seek to be near. I can’t help but think about Psalm 36, “People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” When no one else is near, when no one else can help, when no one else can protect or give him comfort, God can. I pray that he enjoys being with God like he enjoyed being with daddy that day. If so, his laughter and smiles will be more than laughter and smiles. They will be an offering of praise to the Lord. I couldn’t help but smile that day and I believe God will smile with him too.
Riding bikes is one of our favorite things to do. At 3, Kasen rides over a mile to the store to get a snack with daddy and then back home. He’s been riding without training wheels since the week of his 3rd birthday and is even beginning to do “tricks” these days. (like riding with one hand, coasting with no feet, putting his feet on the forks of the front wheel, or standing up and riding)
After church today, we came home and went outside in the back yard. Here’s the conversation I had with Kasen. (3yrs)
Kasen: Daddy, where does the wind come from?
Me: I don’t know Kasen. We can’t see it, but we can feel it.
Kasen: We can’t see Jesus, but we can feel him too.
Wow!! We’ve had a similar conversation before, but I didn’t think he’d remember it all so clearly. I told Miranda about it and she said she had talked to him about it as well. It makes me so excited to see him understand so much about God at such an early age.
The sermon today was from John 3, where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about the work of the Holy Spirit and relating it to the wind. Seems like the wind is what God is wanting us all to remember today. I love it when His voice is so clear!!
Kasen learned to ride tonight with no training wheels! He’s been trying for about a week, but it all came together tonight. This is his second ride. (We missed the first ’cause Miranda had to run in the house to get the camera.)
She’s just over 10 and a half months old now and she’s ready. She doesn’t like to crawl anymore and seems to want to walk everywhere. The video shows some of her very first steps, but since that time a couple days ago, she’s done a whole lot more. It won’t be long before she’s running with her brother!
I had a little fatherhood metaphor moment over the holidays. Remember the old “Footprints in the Sand” poem? (You know the one where the guy can’t figure out why God left him when things got tough and God said, “That’s when I was carrying you.”) I was walking with my son, Kasen through the snow and he decided that it’s wasn’t much fun so he stopped and cried holding up his hands for daddy to pick him up. I did. Anyway, I went back and filmed the footprints a few minutes later. I wonder how many times, God has picked me up? I suspect that He’s probably carrying me right now as I struggle through this time with no job. Anyway, here’s the video:
The other night I was reading to Kasen before he went to bed. He chose one of his “song” books and so I started singing. For the first time, he decided to join me and sing along. Miranda captured the moment here. Pretty funny stuff. It was actually kinda hard for me to keep singing ’cause all I wanted to do is laugh. I especially like the way he pauses before his last note.