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Homegrown Inspiration

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“Who is someone that inspires you and why?”

Throughout my life I have felt somewhat left out because it seemed that so many people admired famous people – athletes, actors & actresses, or musicians. I feel like I tried to feel that, but I was more inspired by real people who surrounded me.

When I was growing up, it was my parents because it seemed that they could do anything, like they were all-powerful, and I know that they loved me very much. It was easy to see that many other parents did not do for their kids what my parents did for me and my brother.

The things that I can recognize as an adult are that my Mom would go into work in the wee hours of the morning so that she could pick us up from the sitter’s earlier and we didn’t stay there all day long. My Dad worked long hours to provide us with a blessed life where we never went without. I thought for a while that I did not get to spend as much time with my Dad when growing up, but he was there every morning making us breakfast and getting us ready for school, not to mention that he got Thursdays off, so we would spend the whole day with him.

Often we played around the house, but I also remember making trips to McDonald’s playhouses, or we would go putt-putt golfing, or even go-karting when there was a place in our town that had all of these amenities. And how could I forget one of the ultimate staples of our childhood – going to the arcade at the mall. I often forget these things because many of them have since closed down and have been long-forgotten by the world. Hell, I don’t think that they even have playgrounds or the playhouses at McDonald’s anymore – probably too much of a liability – or kids just got too fat and only want to play with their iPads or phones.

Those were good times indeed and my Dad was definitely someone who I looked up to as a child, and someone who inspires me now to be as great of a Dad as he was.

My Mom was, and is, also someone who inspires me though. Moms always get left in the dust, especially in a house of 2 boys and a Dad – 3 boys against 1 girl. I do not think that most boys will say that their Mom inspires them, even if she does. As I said, my Mom worked early in the morning so that she could pick us up early in the day – and she got Wednesdays off, so that was our day to adventure with her, and really every day was since we were always together. Her days off were just as fun as days off with our Dad, but in a different way. I remember days of making homemade play dough, or helping her make cookies and getting to lick the spoons and beaters after the mix was made. I also remember going on lots of walks through Tawawa Park where we would appreciate the beauty of nature and get to play on the swing sets or look for cool rocks in the creek.

One of my favorite things was going to Children’s Home Hill and having a picnic. This place used to be an orphan’s home and it was a spooky old house that sat atop a steep hill that overlooked our city. It was peaceful & sunny, and I remember it being windy as we sat on a blanket eating our picnic lunch, and I think we also painted rocks one time we were there too.

As me and my wife work every day of the week, I have been wondering how I have so many memories of playing when I was a child, but now I realize that my parents sacrificed so that only 3 days of our week was spent at the sitter’s and we spent 2 weekdays at home with one of them. I am forever grateful for the life they gave me and still feel some sense of guilt for the trouble I caused them in my teenage years, though I am not sure I can hold myself in that position, and I know that they do not either.

For those reasons, my parents both inspire me.

Now that I am a Dad to a perfect little boy, what my parents did for me & my brother inspires me even more, but I also found a deeper inspiration for the love of my life, Kyla my wife. Kyla has always inspired me with her genuine character and the fun that she brings to life. Her smile and laugh is infectious and so is her attitude. I feel that she helped me to overcome my self-doubt that has so suffocated me up to this point of my life because of her honesty, frankness, and her pure belief in me. I really do not think I would be mentally where I am today without her.

What I have discovered through the process of life – from our perfect proposal at the top of a hill in Tawawa Park while the sun set through the trees behind us, our perfect wedding that was surreal not only in location but in the pure essence of love that I felt radiating from all who attended, and then her being pregnant and giving birth to our beautiful boy – is that we were meant to be together.

The process of Zander’s birth was scary because it was just us & our amazing midwife – no family because of covid stuff and we just wanted to experience life for ourselves, not under direction of any other. But I also realized how strong Kyla is. She almost birthed him naturally as she wanted to, but even when she got the epidural and birthed him, I was terrified, amazed, and felt a love that I did not know existed. Watching her transform into the most amazing, caring, and compassionate Mom has inspired me beyond words. Not only is it in the caring, but she is working full-time and doing all the other house duties she can. I do not know how she does it, but she’s amazing, and that inspires me deeply and inspires me to help with anything I can from laundry to cooking & cleaning because it has to be a team effort.

I think that this experience has also helped me to appreciate the love & sacrifices that my parents made to give me such a great life. We must realize that we may not always know of it in the moment, but life is crazy & hectic and we need to give our people and ourselves grace. I am grateful for all who inspire me – and while I stuck to the parent theme, I could write a whole other blog on my brother, my twin separated by 3 years.

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