happy birthday son


A decade ago you entered my life. A decade ago you fundamentally changed me. I thank you for that.

A decade ago you turned one horrific date – September 11 – into a celebration. I thank you for that.

You make me realize every day that I am a father first and everything else is secondary. I thank you for that.

I try my best to be the best for you. Sometimes I’m sure I falter but you appear more forgiving than I am. I thank you for that.

You’ve allowed me to share all my passions with you – biking, computers, baseball, movies. I thank you for that.

I see the way your mind works, the way you create and invent and I stare in awe. Utter awe, even if it means I have to clean up a seemingly endless pile of Legos. And even then, I thank you.

I was so excited to see you that, on the morning you were born, I raced home from the hospital to shave! I wanted to look my very best for my boy.

In fact, I was so excited to see you that shortly after you were born at 5:11p I wrote this short story to add to your website:


Mommy started having contractions Wednesday night around 5pm. An hour later Daddy took us to the hospital and Mommy got comfortable for a long night ahead of her. Nurse Wendy said it was a full moon! Grandpa and Grandma Toosky stopped for a short visit.

On Thursday, after a lot of hard work (and several visits from my new family), I was born! Daddy helped cut my umbilical cord while Nurse Sue checked me over. Daddy says I was very well behaved and very alert – I didn’t cry at all until Nurse Sue gave me a quick bath. But I really liked when she washed my hair! Daddy said I had to get all fancy for Mommy.

At night, I slept, Mommy tried to sleep and Daddy kept watch over his new family.

In the last decade I’ve seen you crawl. I’ve seen you fall. I’ve seen you try. I’ve seen you cry, smile, laugh and bring joy to those around you. I’ve see you take your first steps (on the kitchen island!), your first train, your first plane, your first everything.

I’ve woken in the middle of the night to comfort you and not thought twice about it. And you’ve rewarded me by reading to me, by holding me, by telling me “Dad, you made me happy today.”

Son: You make me happy every single day. And for that I say thank you and wish you a happy 10th.

~ Dad


I turned 39 this past Sunday. 

My daughter and I share the same birthday (as does @selenagomez!). Over the years this has turned into a fun game of arguing over whose birthday it is.  And over these years my priorities of what I want on my birthday have changed.

  1. Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.

    When I was younger I remember going here for my birthday.  All the pomp and circumstance! This place more or less disappeared.  When I saw they had re-opened a few in Southern California I knew what we were going on my LIZ’s birthday.

    I couldn’t have been happier when the band came out, drums and horns blaring and LIZ on her chair. She’s never seen anything like this. She had this crazy big smile on her face as she soaked up being the center of attention (for literally the entire restaurant).

    In that very instant I saw the young woman she will eventually become. Full of confidence and poise.

  2. My son took me to lunch.

    Those who know me know I enjoy a great culinary experience. I like tasting new foods. I love the presentation.

    When WNZ asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I only wanted him to take me out for lunch (well all four of us). I figured I’d give him some cash and let him treat. The more we talked about it the more I could tell he was getting excited about doing it.

    He took me out to lunch at Opah Restaurant, a place my wife and I used to visit when we lived in the area. I kept trying to give him money but he’d have none of that.

    “Do you need some money?”

    “No Dad, I’ve got this.”

    And in that instant, I saw the young man that he will eventually become. Full of independence and pride.

I may not be a man with a lot of material wealth but nothing could have made me happier than those two things this weekend.