I am the father of two wonderful children. My oldest is 16 so right about now, I’m more of an irritating factor in his life. I remember being there, wanting to do anything, but hang out with my dad. My youngest just turned 8 today. He’s a little ball of energy, that never fails to impress me with his wit and intelligence. He is so much like my father and myself that it scares me.
  I get my kids on the weekends, and the ex wife has them during the week. So I decided to stop by this morning before work, and tell him happy birthday.
  As I walked in, his eyes lit up. He wasn’t expecting to see me until Sunday, as he is having a sleepover with his best friend on Saturday. I told him happy birthday, and that I loved him. I also gave him a really big bearhug…
  That’s when my emotions started to get the better of me.  Most of you who follow my blog know that I’m pretty poor. I write everything on my phone because I have no computer or internet. I live in a dilapidated old mobile home with leaks in the roof, and no heat. Sometimes you can see your breath inside my house. Thankfully a dear friend recently sent me a blanket she made for me, and it is the warmest blanket ever. (Thank you my dear. You really are my best friend)
  Well, being that I struggle financially, (i use that phrase loosely) it probably comes as no surprise that I also had to look my kid in the eyes and tell him that I don’t have a gift for him… Do you know how hard that is to do?! How much it breaks your spirit, to tell your own child that you are too poor to get them a gift?! Most of us understand that gifts aren’t that important. But did we understand that at 8? He does… Like I said, he never ceases to amaze me.
  I look at him, and pray with all my heart and soul, that he never has to feel the feelings of worthlessness and self doubt that I do. I know he will look back and say, “I remember when my father was too poor to get me a gift for my birthday… But no matter what, he was always there for me.” Just like I remember my late father with fondness.
  As he grows, we will certainly argue, disagree, and fight at times… But I will always love him. And he has given me the greatest gift of all. His love.