Category Archives: #TYMMPB…

#TYMMPB… | of your “A” Game

You look good. But you can’t help that.

What can you help is how you carry all that good looking.

The past few weeks we’ve had a range of events that required you to flex styles, and you did them all seamlessly. Flexing styles and fitting in require more than simply changing clothes. That would be like saying my old school Subaru GL hatchback would win an F1 race because you painted it like Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Also, I totally had to look up that last reference. I know nothing about Formula 1.

At the ripe old age of 7 months you’ve found a way to change colors while also, adapting your personality to accommodate the event. Sometimes it’s as simple as how you sit. But it’s alway as simple as how you feel.

Today you make me proud because I see in you a person who has this ability to fit in, to be present, and to find happiness in any environment. You’ve got a smile that can change the world — it’s already changed ours.

Keep that adaptability and awareness at your fingertips, Jaanu. It will serve you well. And it will serve the people around you, even better.

Also, keep making your sister laugh. It’s awesome.

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TYMMPB… | of your Shoulders

We’ve already talked about the power of touch. About being grateful and thankful. About building bridges. We’ve covered some topics.

This might be our most important.

Give. Just. Give.

Of yourself. Of your soul. Of your wallet. Of your time. Of your energy. Of. Your. Self.

You may not realize it, but 6 months in, that’s what you’re doing right now. You’re being present. You’re spending time. You’re giving love. And hugs. And holy hell are you giving hugs. It helps that you’re a fairly huggable young man, whose body basically morphs to and absorbs the shape of whatever you hug, but still. Holy hell do you hug.

Where was I? WTH I just lost myself thinking about hugging you by the way. Remember that when I take your car keys away one night.

But give.

Think of progress. Think of your history books. Not even US History, but World History. Think of how we got from Pyramids to Skyscrapers. From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. From suffering to suffrage. From infant mortality to required rear-facing car seats up to like, 90 lbs (I exaggerate, but still.)

We got there because people gave forward. Ideas. Time. Energy. People gave. To make the world better than it was.

I look back on my childhood and even early adulthood and realize I never gave enough, and I never acknowledged, enough, what I was given. Perhaps the most important thing I was given were shoulders. To lean on, to cry on, and then, and now, to stand on.

I ask that you acknowledge always the shoulders you are standing on so you are thankful for what you’ve been given, but perhaps even more importantly, you look up, you look forward, and adjust your shoulders for the feet looking for their foothold. It will come at you sooner than you think. Your ability to make an impact in this world and to give starts on Day 1. (Nice work, by the way.)

TYMMPB | December

You make an amazing elf. You will, undeniably, make, an even more incredible person. I’ll leave the definition of “incredible” to you, forever and for always.

Today you make me proud because in you, I see already, such an incredible ability to give.

Go on and dust your shoulders off, Jaanu.

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TYMMPB… | #iamgrateful and #iamthankful

Two years ago I hit a rough spot at work. I have many of those. I hope one day I can explain why … so you don’t have those yourself.

Two years ago, I hit a rough spot at work, and I made an active choice. I was going to spend every some time every single day talking about what made me grateful and what made me thankful.

I did this for a long time.

About a year later, we realized we were going to have you.

And today, two years later, here we are. Here you are. And you’ve plugged yourself into the perfect place. You are the love your sister’s life, from moment one; and your mother and I feel the same.

TYMMPB | November

Two years removed, I look at this moment and say unequivocally: #iamgrateful and #iamthankful. I say I am, and I tell you Jaanu, no matter how I may act in precise moments, I always and I always will be. You (and your sister) have made certain of it.

Today you make me proud because, today, you have given me yet another reason to be forever grateful and forever thankful.

I love you, homie. We were a family before you; but we are only a complete family because of you.

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TYMMPB … | We Click on the Immeasurable

Rulers. Scales. Tape. Google Analytics.

These are all tools you use to measure, Length. Width. Height. Weight. Clothing. And the performance of your website.

What gets measured, gets done, goes an adage you will probably here when you get to working (it makes me sad that some things, I believe, will never change.)

What you’ll learn over time though, is that what truly matters is the space between everything that can be measured. The specific and the measurable gives us security and confidence that we can truly know the world (we can’t).

What’s in-between however, is infinite. It moves in every direction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, sure; but the truest distance between two points is actually magic. With all the things that matter, there’s no straight line, just infinite emotion and hope and love shooting out in every possible direction.

It’s immeasurable. And the immeasurable, the thing you can’t know or measure, the thing you can only believe, is the only way to explain moments like this.

TYMMPB | October

You. And Dadi Masi. How you and your sister have forged such a strong bond with her when geography, time and space conspire to enforce the opposite, I can’t know. I can only know, it’s beautiful, and it’s immeasurable.

And it’s further evidence that you’re mine. Today, you make me proud because you understand that sometimes, you don’t need proof or evidence, you just need to feel.

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TYMMPB… | You Build Bridges

It ain’t right.

It.

Just.

Ain’t.

Right.

Jaanu, there are some people who are trying to turn us into a world of walls. Walls have sides. Not the good kind. The kind you take. Not the kind you leave.

I’m not a fan of walls. Your Mom and I are looking at buying a house soon and every time we walk into a place the first thing I’m looking at is what walls we can take down. I get them. Walls are necessary. Like medicine is necessary. Like funky cheese is necessary.

But too many walls and they lose their purpose. You move from a place where you’re keeping the bad things out, to a place where you’re keeping only you, in.

That’s why I prefer bridges. Bridges have sides too. The kind you talk about because you’re committed to leaving from or going to. The bridge isn’t the end goal. It’s the vehicle that enables the ultimate end goal: connections.

TYMMPB | September Sandwich

Today you make me proud because, just a few months in, and you already get the value of bridging. Keep doing that hard work and heavy lifting, BBCC.

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TYMMPB … | Touch Matters

I’ve had lots of discussions about the power of human influence. There’s much to cover. What is it that we can do that puts us in the greatest position to impact another person. To affect another person.

Quote after quote talks about the power of words. The impact of words. Our greatest drug. What they have more power then.

Words.

But there’s a funny thing about words. They’re easy. And so, though on the high end, they may have the ability to move, to build, to halt, to destroy, to inspire, to elevate, to bewilder, to deflate. On the highest of ends I see that. I get it.

But you can also throw words away. You can lose them. They can leave you before you pass a thought.

That’s the range of words. You know what does words one better?

TYMMPB | August - Hand

Touch.

Touch can be beautiful. Touch can be devastating. But it is always acknowledged. It is powerfully deliberate. And as a result, it’s rare to have touch that isn’t meaningful. Impactful.

I’m not saying it can’t be accidental. But you give it your own whirl and tell me, in the end, which made the greatest impact. A casual word, or casual contact.

Elbow. Cheek. Hand. Head. Shoulder. Waist. Knee.

More than a thousand words, son, I tell you, placing your hand on any one of these places can erase the need for words. Can show us the limitation of words.

Today you make me proud because you get it. I tried telling you that, but I grabbed your two fingers and held on through the night instead.

Because. Touch.

 

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TYMMPB… | Being Silver and Exact

I don’t think you will ever realize the weight on your shoulders. Actually, the expectations cast as glances, shadows, dreams upon you. Even at this age — 2 months today — every person who looks at you has expectations.

It’s not easy. I failed often, and miserably — often miserably, miserably often — with that same weight on my shoulders. But watching you this past month gives me extraordinary peace. Because I realize something you do extraordinarily well already is reflect back to all of these people what they expect of you.

When your sister sings to you, you indulge her voice, her pitch, her volume, her passion and even, her sometimes unknowing heavy handedness. She can’t help it. It’s love.

When your mother feeds you, you indulge all she has to offer you. Her nourishment, sure, but her love, her warmth, her hold, her comfort. You take it all in furiously and give it back, cheek to cheek.

When your Dadiji and Naniji come to visit. And know this, between them, you’ve had a grandmother here for about 7 of your 8.5 weeks. When they come to visit you let them hold you, hug you, change you … you reflect back all of the extraordinary, pure and intense love they direct your way by being. In their arms. Being.

I mean wow. Look at how much happiness you bring people by doing nothing other than being?

That’s you. A mirror for all of our love. Incredibly patient. Hell, you went 6 days without dropping a deuce, going to borderline jaundice, and the only thing we could tell the doctor was “yeah, he’s … a little fussy? we guess?” At two months you managed to calm our nerves by not letting the world phase you. A mirror that managed to bend and reflect back even our own insecurities in beautiful ways distorting them into something calm, simple, beautiful. Handsome.

Maybe you’ll go a life time being that reflection to all around you. It’s something powerful. People need to see in you their best selves. People do see in you their best selves.

Watching you work your way through month two has made me realize that I can be that better mirror, too. For your mom. For your sister. For your grandparents. For all the people in our lives. Thank you for making me proud, Jaanu. But thank you more for teaching me the importance of reflection … and reflecting. Literally, in some cases. Like this video.

Happy second month, son. You continue to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.

 

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TYMMPB… | Embracing Kipling

BLOG--Jaan ChillingMy son. It’s amazing to say that. The my part is incomparable. The son part was one half of a win:win.

And winning is all it has felt like. One month ago today, and precisely one month ago from the moment I started writing this post (10:49), you were born to us. And you went straight to your mother’s chest where you spent quite a bit of time — and have spent quite a bit of time since. There’s no denying that you will be a momma’s boy. And as a momma’s boy myself, I can tell you, there’s no love like the love you’ll get from your mother.

When you’re old enough to read this, who knows when I’ll share it with you. You may feel slighted. For the first year of your older sister’s life, I wrote frequently. Because the time to do so existed. Such is not the case for you. With you. So instead I’ve decided to write you 12 letters, each on the monthly anniversary of your birth and into your first birthday.

Today, I start by telling you how proud you’ve made me already.

People define masculinity and manhood in very different ways. My definition as always run closest to how Rudyard Kipling encapsulated it in his poem, “If…” Especially the lines I’ve bolded below.

You have managed to make it through the month without being the least bit of hassle or burden. You sleep in the family room. That’s where you make your home. Sister running around the house. Visitors in and out the door. Sunlight through the windows. Pans clanging in the kitchen. TV sometimes on sometimes not. And yet, you go about your day unfazed and unbothered. Attributes that will serve you well.

You have managed to make us feel like great parents even with all the scrambling and distractions around us. You take solace in our arms and by our voices. You make your  mother’s arms your home. You make your sister’s voice your lullaby. You make your nani, dadi, and foi feel like they are absolute experts when it comes to baby whispering.

Don’t believe me? Check out how much your sister adores serenading you. 🙂

At one month, you’ve managed to do what no one month old can ever be expected to do: you’ve managed to enter the world with such fine humility, that even your birth is somehow about everyone else feeling good, valued, helpful, loved.

Today You Made Me Proud By … embracing the spirit of Kipling’s If. I promise to make you proud by learning from your humble lead.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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