Welcome to the world little man. You have already made a mark on my life. I have become a grandfather; you a grandson. We get to explore this relationship together and I have a surprisingly intense desire to excel at grand-fathering. From a biological perspective, you and I share one quarter of our DNA. I hope you got all of the good bits. Yet, even if you did get some of my less desirable traits, you need to know that biology is not destiny.

I am 52 and you are new-born. I pray that when you have experienced more of this life you will come to love life as much as I do. This world is so amazing and has so many things for you to learn and explore. I want to encourage you to never stop asking questions and never stop learning. I hope that you will become a student of the world and explore it with philosophy, science, mathematics, and theology. Never be afraid of truth; for all truth is God’s truth.

I pray that you will find the God who created this universe. I pray that you will have a long and happy life. I also pray that you will take risks in this life and never settle for the “safe” zone. Go ahead and make some mistakes; God knows that I have. I pray that whatever you may experience in this life, you will live it with peace, and joy, and bravery.

I pray that you will go for walks in the rain and the snow; get cold and wet but love the experience. I pray that you will fight for those smaller than you; poorer than you; sicker than you; more alone than you. I pray that you will enjoy life: play music, sing, write poetry, climb mountains, drink fine wine, enjoy rich food, appreciate a loaf of bread, find love, get your heart broken, and discover a good woman to love and marry.

I pray that you will appreciate the heritage of all of your ancestors who have gone before you. You have more than a little Celtic blood and even a Celtic name to go along with it. I pray that you will live with a sense of your own mortality, so that you might live well and appreciate this life. I pray that you will live life to the fullest every second of your existence in this world. I pray that you will look forward to a life beyond this one.

Welcome, Clayton Keith Smith (born November 6, 2012).

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