This past Saturday my husband turned 40. For his birthday we drove through the latest St. Louis snowstorm to a pre-screening of Gnomeo and Juliet. Sounds like a great way to spend your 40th birthday, right? In Craig's case it totally makes sense because it wasn't just his birthday, it was our third daughter's 9th birthday as well, and she was thrilled to see a movie in a theater on her birthday.
Having Katie born on Craig's birthday was the best thing to happen to him; he hates attention on his birthday and always has. When he turned 30, I threw a major surprise party for him that packed 60-plus people dressed in 1980's garb into our small house. It was super fun and he really did enjoy it, but when it was over he gently asked me not to ever do it again. I promised I wouldn't. Katie was born on his birthday the following year and ever since, the birthday focus has been on her, which is just the way he likes it.
Anyway, my younger two girls and I attend Classical Conversations one day a week, and each week every child gets to practice public speaking by giving a presentation to his or her class. As the director checking in on the morning's classes, I happened to walk into Katie's class right when she was giving her presentation and just in time to hear her explain to her class how her birthday was on Saturday.
Katie showed them one of the gifts she received and explained how she shares her special day with her dad. I then heard her pronounce confidently to the whole group, "My dad says I'm the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday!" She was beaming as she said it, and she said it because she believes it. She believes it because she has full confidence in her father that he means what he says and she will always know in the core of her being that she really is the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday.
Having daughters who know and feel secure in their position in the life of their dad is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. As much as I try and as much as I want to be an important influence in their lives, I simply can't do it alone. I'm not at all saying Craig is a perfect dad. He makes mistakes just like the rest of us, but he is very intentional about investing relationally in the lives of our girls and they know that. I love that he is such a great influence in their lives, and I love that they rest in that.