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The family gathered, friends came and we all shared a laugh.

Then, he pulled me aside. My oldest was concerned as to why he wasn't getting ready for bed yet. "I have to start getting ready for bed can I brush my teeth?" A 7 year old is never one to demand they be put to bed when up snacking and well, not sleeping. But this wasn't an average day. This was December 24th.

"Why do you want to get ready for bed?"

"Because, I have to get ready for bed and go to sleep so Santa can come at Midnight!"

He was very excited for Christmas this year, more so then any previous. His cousin was in town, his brother was also at an age he could grasp the brevity of the day. It is among the peak of the family joy meter when it comes to kiddo happiness. He laid down and made me rush through prayers because he had to go to sleep. He is a wonderful, funny, thoughtful little boy; and after all the hours worked, time on this machine worked, it is incredibly rewarding to sit back and watch them. I'm not taking these years for granted, I know they are fleeting; I can barely hold my boys at night to put into bed or rock them to calm down after a bad dream.

I got my wife a book this year called The Book of Happiness. And it's a large, blank book. It's a replica from the movie Up that the main character and his wife build and I was going to write in it but instead, I left it blank. Because it's not my story to write and build; It's our story, and the pages of our lives we write together are the ones we need to document together. The smiles from a surprise trip, or a long awaited one, the tokens of places visited, artwork, treasures. These are all we'll have left one day. Not the presents, the wrapping, the food; just the few single pages of the incredible story we wrote together.

Right now though, we're in the think of our story. I pray our pages are many in this book, but no matter what the ending, these will always be years colored with pure golden sunshine. The light that only children bring to our lives as parents. The golden years of our little family growing together, as we all get to be apart of a memorable phenomena:

Pure Joy.

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Crazy, abrasive, caring, dreaming the world into existance we need, not the one we have.

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