THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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I’ve been blessed with two children. My oldest has a birthday today and I was writing her this morning and reflecting in thought on 3+ decades of her life. The memory of her laying on my better half chest after being born and those eyes looking at me is just as clear today as that day.

Holding her in my arms those first few weeks felt so good. Watching her start to move, and then crawl and walk. Which is just the start of a million moments I’ve been lucky enough to witness. Simple things like bouncing a basketball or throwing a softball. Playing on the beach or swimming in a pool. And also the difficult things like working hard through high school and college and getting degrees, becoming a professional teacher.

I smile at the pictures in my head or photo archive I sift through every once in a while of their younger birthdays. The cakes and friends. I think now of the families they have and how much has changed over the decades as they have grown into adults.

Fruit Cake would have been more healthy but we had ice cream cake. Photo by Mike Hartley

I had no idea at the time the impact she and her brother would have on me as a person. I had no idea children would be such an important and joyous thing. But I’ve had my eyes opened wonderfully by 2 gifts that have been bestowed on me.

I was going to say I miss them being young again but my next thought was that every part of their life growing up has been a pleasure to watch and it’s hard to pick a favorite age because I’ve learned they just keep growing and impressing me more along the way.

And our love for each other keeps growing along the way. And that is what I’m most thankful for because having a family is tough. For every success, there are failures and various degrees in between. I’ve seen some families I thought were tight, fall apart over time. And some that have fallen apart early, making a comeback and joining together again.

Love and communication, are important foundations to start with. But learning and adapting to each other are also important. Everyone is their own individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. Even us as parents.

But what I want her to know today is how proud I am of her and how much we love her and our son. Having lost my father when I was young I have lots of questions without answers that I never want my children to not know and the first one is I couldn’t be prouder than I am of both of my children. And that they have made me so happy in life that all other stuff is small stuff. So you have already given your father the most wonderful gift of all.

Happy Birthday to my Daughter.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Nothing worse than picking up the basketball and heading out to shoot for the first time in a great while and the ball needing air. But then you learn there is something worse when you can’t find your pump.
  • Sometimes I wonder what will be my last random thought?
  • Foregiveness is still a skill I’m developing.
  • I’m getting a headache now thinking about being in the dentist chair tomorrow morning.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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